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Anesthesiology. 2010 Mar;112(3):623-30. doi: 10.1097/ALN.0b013e3181cf894a.

Noble gas xenon is a novel adenosine triphosphate-sensitive potassium channel opener.

Author information

  • 1Department of Surgery and Cancer, Anaesthetics, Pain Medicine and Intensive Care Section, Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London. London SW7 2AZ, United Kingdom.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Adenosine triphosphate-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels in brain are involved in neuroprotective mechanisms. Pharmacologic activation of these channels is seen as beneficial, but clinical exploitation by using classic K channel openers is hampered by their inability to cross the blood-brain barrier. This is different with the inhalational anesthetic xenon, which recently has been suggested to activate KATP channels; it partitions freely into the brain.

METHODS:

To evaluate the type and mechanism of interaction of xenon with neuronal-type KATP channels, these channels, consisting of Kir6.2 pore-forming subunits and sulfonylurea receptor-1 regulatory subunits, were expressed in HEK293 cells and whole cell, and excised patch-clamp recordings were performed.

RESULTS:

Xenon, in contrast to classic KATP channel openers, acted directly on the Kir6.2 subunit of the channel. It had no effect on the closely related, adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-regulated Kir1.1 channel and failed to activate an ATP-insensitive mutant version of Kir6.2. Furthermore, concentration-inhibition curves for ATP obtained from inside-out patches in the absence or presence of 80% xenon revealed that xenon reduced the sensitivity of the KATP channel to ATP. This was reflected in an approximately fourfold shift of the concentration causing half-maximal inhibition (IC50) from 26 +/- 4 to 96 +/- 6 microm.

CONCLUSIONS:

Xenon represents a novel KATP channel opener that increases KATP currents independently of the sulfonylurea receptor-1 subunit by reducing ATP inhibition of the channel. Through this action and by its ability to readily partition across the blood-brain barrier, xenon has considerable potential in clinical settings of neuronal injury, including stroke.

PMID:
20179498
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2935677
Free PMC Article
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