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Anesthesiology. 2006 Mar;104(3):503-10.

Impact of in vivo preconditioning by isoflurane on adenosine triphosphate-sensitive potassium channels in the rat heart: lasting modulation of nucleotide sensitivity during early memory period.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226, USA. astadnic@mcw.edu



The early memory of anesthetic-induced preconditioning (APC) is a period when myocardial protection continues even after removal of the anesthetic. Because adenosine triphosphate-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels are important mediators of APC, the authors investigated the hypothesis that the memory involves channel priming by isoflurane via a long-term modulation of the sensitivity to intracellular adenosine nucleotides.


Ventricular cardiomyocytes were obtained from the rat hearts after 30 min in vivo APC with 1.4% isoflurane and from control non-APC rat hearts. Whole cell and excised inside-out patch clamp techniques were used to study the sarcolemmal KATP channel. Membrane expression of KATP channel proteins, the pore-forming inward rectifier Kir6.2, and the regulatory sulfonylurea receptor SUR2A were assessed in APC and non-APC hearts by Western blotting.


Activation of whole cell KATP current by isoflurane was enhanced after in vivo APC. At the single-channel level, this was paralleled by a 12-fold decrease in adenosine 5'-triphosphate sensitivity and a 3-fold decrease in adenosine 5'-diphosphate sensitivity, without changing the probability of channel opening or single-channel conductance. The membrane expression of Kir6.2 and SUR2A subunits was not altered by in vivo APC. A direct in vitro application of isoflurane to excised membrane patches increased the channel open probability and produced a 4-fold decrease in adenosine 5'-triphosphate sensitivity only of channels in non-APC myocytes.


In vivo APC by isoflurane decreases sensitivity of the sarcolemmal KATP channel to inhibition by adenosine 5'-triphosphate and decreases adenosine 5'-diphosphate sensitivity. These effects persist even after discontinuation of the anesthetic, suggesting a possible novel factor that may contribute to the mechanism of early memory of APC.

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