Anesthesia & Analgesia: August 2015
AUTHORS: Li, Yuwen PhD et al
BACKGROUND: The anesthetic propofol is thought to induce rapid hypnotic sedation by potentiating [gamma]-aminobutyric acid receptor (GABAAR) activity. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms of propofol in modulating inhibitory synaptic transmission. We aimed to investigate the role of propofol in modulating surface expression of GABAARs.
METHODS: C57BL/6 mice received an intraperitoneal injection of propofol. Hippocampal pyramidal neurons were prepared from embryonic day-18 mice and were treated with propofol. Proteins on the plasma membrane were analyzed using cell surface biotinylation, immunoblotting and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Electrophysiological activities were recorded from hippocampal cells in acute brain slices of mice. The interaction between GABAARs and clathrin adaptor protein 2 was assessed by immunoprecipitation. Phosphorylation of GABAARs was shown by in vitro kinase assay.
RESULTS: Propofol facilitated membrane accumulation of GABAAR[beta]3 subunits. Propofol mediated phosphorylation of GABAAR[beta]3 by protein kinase C[epsilon] which blocked the interaction between GABAAR[beta]3 and the [beta]-adaptin subunit of adaptor protein 2, resulting in an inhibition of the receptor endocytosis in hippocampal pyramidal neurons. Coincident with increased GABAARs surface level, propofol enhanced evoked and miniature synaptic GABA receptor currents.
CONCLUSIONS: This study offers new insight on the regulatory mechanism of propofol in inhibiting neuronal excitability.