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Mol Pharmacol. 2008 Nov;74(5):1180-2. doi: 10.1124/mol.108.051615. Epub 2008 Sep 3.

Sensitization of nociceptive ion channels by inhaled anesthetics--a pain in the gas?

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York, USA. neh2001@med.cornell.edu


A remarkable new article in this issue of Molecular Pharmacology (p. 1261) shows that the capsaicin-sensitive ion channel TRPV1 is sensitized to activation by chemical and physical stimuli in the presence of inhaled general anesthetics. This finding provides another example of an ion channel in which the anesthetic acts to modify channel gating. This may have important clinical implications in view of the role of TRPV1 in nociception.

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