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Am J Physiol 1984 Jan 01;2461 Pt 1:C91-5. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.1984.246.1.C91.
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Nitrogen narcosis and pressure reversal of anesthetic effects in node of Ranvier.

Kendig JJ .

To compare sodium channel block by hyperbaric nitrogen with that induced by other anesthetics and to examine the basis for pressure antagonism to anesthetic condition block, voltage clamped nodes of Ranvier were exposed to nitrogen at pressures at 1-14 atm alone and in combination with helium to a total pressure of up to 100 atm. At 7 and 14 atm nitrogen, sodium currents were reversibly depressed without accompanying changes in the current-voltage relation. The curve relating steady-state inactivation (h infinity) to voltage was shifted in the hyperpolarizing direction, as is the case with other general anesthetic agents. The time constant of inactivation (tau h) was slightly decreased at depolarized potentials. The preceding companion paper demonstrated an opposite effect of hyperbaric helium on the properties of sodium inactivation. Addition of helium pressure in the presence of nitrogen at 14 atm did not increase peak sodium current with inactivation maximally removed, but it did shift the h infinity curve back toward control levels, thus increasing sodium current at points on the slope of the curve. It is proposed that these opposing shifts in steady-state inactivation levels are the basis for pressure antagonism to anesthetic conduction block. In the case of inert gases and volatile anesthetic agents, the antagonism may be direct but has not been shown to be so. In the case of the local anesthetic benzocaine, differences in the voltage dependence of anesthetic and pressure-induced changes in tau h indicate the antagonism is indirect.

PubMed ID: 6696061
Article link: Am J Physiol
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: atm mapt