Emerging molecular mechanisms of general anesthetic action

Hugh C. Hemmings, Myles Akabas, Peter A. Goldstein, James R. Trudell, Beverley A. Orser, Neil L. Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

327 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

General anesthetics are essential to modern medicine, and yet a detailed understanding of their mechanisms of action is lacking. General anesthetics were once believed to be 'drugs without receptors' but this view has been largely abandoned. During the past decade significant progress in our understanding of the mechanisms of general anesthetic action at the molecular, cellular and neural systems levels has been made. Different molecular targets in various regions of the nervous system are involved in the multiple components of anesthetic action, and these targets can vary between specific anesthetics. Neurotransmitter-gated ion channels, particularly receptors for GABA and glutamate, are modulated by most anesthetics, at both synaptic and extrasynaptic sites, and additional ion channels and receptors are also being recognized as important targets for general anesthetics. In this article, these developments, which have important implications for the development of more-selective anesthetics, are reviewed in the context of recent advances in ion channel structure and function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-510
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Pharmacological Sciences
Volume26
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2005

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General Anesthetics
Anesthetics
Ion Channels
Drug Receptors
Modern 1601-history
GABA Receptors
Glutamate Receptors
Neurology
Nervous System
Medicine
Neurotransmitter Agents
Pharmaceutical Preparations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Toxicology

Cite this

Hemmings, H. C., Akabas, M., Goldstein, P. A., Trudell, J. R., Orser, B. A., & Harrison, N. L. (2005). Emerging molecular mechanisms of general anesthetic action. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, 26(10), 503-510. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tips.2005.08.006

Emerging molecular mechanisms of general anesthetic action. / Hemmings, Hugh C.; Akabas, Myles; Goldstein, Peter A.; Trudell, James R.; Orser, Beverley A.; Harrison, Neil L.

In: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, Vol. 26, No. 10, 10.2005, p. 503-510.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hemmings, HC, Akabas, M, Goldstein, PA, Trudell, JR, Orser, BA & Harrison, NL 2005, 'Emerging molecular mechanisms of general anesthetic action', Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, vol. 26, no. 10, pp. 503-510. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tips.2005.08.006
Hemmings, Hugh C. ; Akabas, Myles ; Goldstein, Peter A. ; Trudell, James R. ; Orser, Beverley A. ; Harrison, Neil L. / Emerging molecular mechanisms of general anesthetic action. In: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences. 2005 ; Vol. 26, No. 10. pp. 503-510.
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