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PLoS One. 2008 Apr 2;3(4):e1879. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0001879.

Anesthetics impact the resolution of inflammation.

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Center for Experimental Therapeutics and Reperfusion Injury, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.



Local and volatile anesthetics are widely used for surgery. It is not known whether anesthetics impinge on the orchestrated events in spontaneous resolution of acute inflammation. Here we investigated whether a commonly used local anesthetic (lidocaine) and a widely used inhaled anesthetic (isoflurane) impact the active process of resolution of inflammation.


Using murine peritonitis induced by zymosan and a systems approach, we report that lidocaine delayed and blocked key events in resolution of inflammation. Lidocaine inhibited both PMN apoptosis and macrophage uptake of apoptotic PMN, events that contributed to impaired PMN removal from exudates and thereby delayed the onset of resolution of acute inflammation and return to homeostasis. Lidocaine did not alter the levels of specific lipid mediators, including pro-inflammatory leukotriene B(4), prostaglandin E(2) and anti-inflammatory lipoxin A(4), in the cell-free peritoneal lavages. Addition of a lipoxin A(4) stable analog, partially rescued lidocaine-delayed resolution of inflammation. To identify protein components underlying lidocaine's actions in resolution, systematic proteomics was carried out using nanospray-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Lidocaine selectively up-regulated pro-inflammatory proteins including S100A8/9 and CRAMP/LL-37, and down-regulated anti-inflammatory and some pro-resolution peptides and proteins including IL-4, IL-13, TGF-â and Galectin-1. In contrast, the volatile anesthetic isoflurane promoted resolution in this system, diminishing the amplitude of PMN infiltration and shortening the resolution interval (Ri) approximately 50%. In addition, isoflurane down-regulated a panel of pro-inflammatory chemokines and cytokines, as well as proteins known to be active in cell migration and chemotaxis (i.e., CRAMP and cofilin-1). The distinct impact of lidocaine and isoflurane on selective molecules may underlie their opposite actions in resolution of inflammation, namely lidocaine delayed the onset of resolution (T(max)), while isoflurane shortened resolution interval (Ri).


Taken together, both local and volatile anesthetics impact endogenous resolution program(s), altering specific resolution indices and selective cellular/molecular components in inflammation-resolution. Isoflurane enhances whereas lidocaine impairs timely resolution of acute inflammation.

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