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ISRN Anesthesiology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 837937, 5 pages
Research Article

Dementia Enhances Inhibitory Actions of General Anesthetics in Hippocampal Synaptic Transmission

Department of Anesthesiology, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Science for Research, University of Toyama, 2630 Sugitani, Toyama 930-0194, Japan

Received 12 October 2011; Accepted 1 November 2011

Academic Editor: B. Maciver

Copyright © 2011 Masana Yamada et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In order to investigate whether dementia modifies the anesthetic actions in the central nervous systems, we have studied effects of general anesthetics on the hippocampal synaptic transmission using the dementia model mice. Preliminary in vivo experiments revealed that time of loss of righting reflex following sevoflurane inhalation was more shortened in dementia mice than in healthy control mice. Field population spikes of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons were elicited in vitro using orthodromic stimulation of Schaffer collateral commissural fibers (test pulse). The recurrent inhibition was enhanced with the second stimulating electrode placed in alveus hippocampi (prepulse) to activate recurrent inhibition of CA1. The prepulses were applied as train stimuli to activate release and then deplete γ-amino-butyric acid (GABA) at presynaptic terminals of inhibitory interneurons. Sevoflurane and thiopental had greater actions on inhibitory synaptic transmission in dementia model mice than in control mice. The pre-pulse train protocol revealed that the anesthetic-induced GABA discharge was more enhanced in dementia mice than in control mice. Dementia enhances the actions of general anesthetics due to the increase in GABA release from presynaptic terminals.