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Bench-to-bedside review: Molecular pharmacology and clinical use of inert gases in anesthesia and neuroprotection

Dickinson R, Franks NP - Crit Care (2010)

Bottom Line: In the present paper we review the use of inert gases as anesthetics and neuroprotectants, with particular attention to the clinical use of xenon.We discuss recent advances in understanding the molecular pharmacology of xenon and we highlight specific pharmacological targets that may mediate its actions as an anesthetic and neuroprotectant.We summarize recent in vitro and in vivo studies on the actions of helium and the other inert gases, and discuss their potential to be used as neuroprotective agents.

Affiliation: Biophysics Section, Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London, South Kensington, London SW7 2AZ, UK. r.dickinson@imperial.ac.uk

ABSTRACT

In the past decade there has been a resurgence of interest in the clinical use of inert gases. In the present paper we review the use of inert gases as anesthetics and neuroprotectants, with particular attention to the clinical use of xenon. We discuss recent advances in understanding the molecular pharmacology of xenon and we highlight specific pharmacological targets that may mediate its actions as an anesthetic and neuroprotectant. We summarize recent in vitro and in vivo studies on the actions of helium and the other inert gases, and discuss their potential to be used as neuroprotective agents.

Meyer-Overton correlation for the inert gases and nitrogen. Values of the Bunsen oil/gas partition coefficient and the pressures for loss of righting reflex in mice are taken from Table 1. The line shown is a least-squares regression of the data shown in the filled symbols. The points shown for neon and helium (open symbols) are theoretical predictions based on their oil/gas partition coefficients. The theoretical pressures for anesthesia are 156 atm for neon and 189 atm for helium.
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Figure 1: Meyer-Overton correlation for the inert gases and nitrogen. Values of the Bunsen oil/gas partition coefficient and the pressures for loss of righting reflex in mice are taken from Table 1. The line shown is a least-squares regression of the data shown in the filled symbols. The points shown for neon and helium (open symbols) are theoretical predictions based on their oil/gas partition coefficients. The theoretical pressures for anesthesia are 156 atm for neon and 189 atm for helium.

Mentions: Xenon was predicted to be an anesthetic at atmospheric pressure, based on its relative solubility in fat compared with argon, krypton and nitrogen. An effect of xenon in animals was first shown by Lawrence and colleagues in 1946, who reported sedation, ataxia and other behavioral effects in mice exposed to between 0.40 and 0.78 atm xenon [21]. The anesthetic potency of inert gases follows the Meyer-Overton correlation with solubility in oil or fat (see Figure 1 and Table 1), with xenon being most potent (and most soluble in oil) followed by krypton and argon. Radon is the heaviest of the inert gases and might be predicted to be an anesthetic. Radon is radioactive, however, and exposure to radon - even at very low levels - is a health risk [23].

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Bench-to-bedside review: Molecular pharmacology and clinical use of inert gases in anesthesia and neuroprotection

Dickinson R, Franks NP - Crit Care (2010)

Meyer-Overton correlation for the inert gases and nitrogen. Values of the Bunsen oil/gas partition coefficient and the pressures for loss of righting reflex in mice are taken from Table 1. The line shown is a least-squares regression of the data shown in the filled symbols. The points shown for neon and helium (open symbols) are theoretical predictions based on their oil/gas partition coefficients. The theoretical pressures for anesthesia are 156 atm for neon and 189 atm for helium.
© Copyright Policy
Figure 1: Meyer-Overton correlation for the inert gases and nitrogen. Values of the Bunsen oil/gas partition coefficient and the pressures for loss of righting reflex in mice are taken from Table 1. The line shown is a least-squares regression of the data shown in the filled symbols. The points shown for neon and helium (open symbols) are theoretical predictions based on their oil/gas partition coefficients. The theoretical pressures for anesthesia are 156 atm for neon and 189 atm for helium.
Mentions: Xenon was predicted to be an anesthetic at atmospheric pressure, based on its relative solubility in fat compared with argon, krypton and nitrogen. An effect of xenon in animals was first shown by Lawrence and colleagues in 1946, who reported sedation, ataxia and other behavioral effects in mice exposed to between 0.40 and 0.78 atm xenon [21]. The anesthetic potency of inert gases follows the Meyer-Overton correlation with solubility in oil or fat (see Figure 1 and Table 1), with xenon being most potent (and most soluble in oil) followed by krypton and argon. Radon is the heaviest of the inert gases and might be predicted to be an anesthetic. Radon is radioactive, however, and exposure to radon - even at very low levels - is a health risk [23].

Bottom Line: In the present paper we review the use of inert gases as anesthetics and neuroprotectants, with particular attention to the clinical use of xenon.We discuss recent advances in understanding the molecular pharmacology of xenon and we highlight specific pharmacological targets that may mediate its actions as an anesthetic and neuroprotectant.We summarize recent in vitro and in vivo studies on the actions of helium and the other inert gases, and discuss their potential to be used as neuroprotective agents.

Affiliation: Biophysics Section, Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London, South Kensington, London SW7 2AZ, UK. r.dickinson@imperial.ac.uk

ABSTRACT

Background: In the past decade there has been a resurgence of interest in the clinical use of inert gases. In the present paper we review the use of inert gases as anesthetics and neuroprotectants, with particular attention to the clinical use of xenon. We discuss recent advances in understanding the molecular pharmacology of xenon and we highlight specific pharmacological targets that may mediate its actions as an anesthetic and neuroprotectant. We summarize recent in vitro and in vivo studies on the actions of helium and the other inert gases, and discuss their potential to be used as neuroprotective agents.

View Similar Images In: Results  - Collection
View Article: Medline Plus - Pubmed Central - HTML -  PubMed
Show All Figures - Show MeSH
getmorefigures.php?pmc=2945072&rFormat=json&query=null&req=5