Research Articles

Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 17-32

First online:

Lipid protein interactions in mitochondria. VIII. Effect of general anesthetics on the mobility of spin labels in lipid vesticles and mitochondrial membranes

  • Laura MazzantiAffiliated withGiorgio Lenaz, Istituto di Biochimica, Università, di Ancona
  • , Giovanna CuratolaAffiliated withGiorgio Lenaz, Istituto di Biochimica, Università, di Ancona
  • , Giovanna ZoleseAffiliated withGiorgio Lenaz, Istituto di Biochimica, Università, di Ancona
  • , Enrico BertoliAffiliated withGiorgio Lenaz, Istituto di Biochimica, Università, di Ancona
  • , Giorgio LenazAffiliated withGiorgio Lenaz, Istituto di Biochimica, Università, di Ancona

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Abstract

We have studied the effect of general anesthetics on the mobility of two stearic acid spin labels (5-doxyl stearic acid and 16-doxyl stearic acid) in bovine heart mitochondria and in phospholipid vesicles made from either mitochondrial lipids or commercial soybean phospholipids. The general anesthetics used include nonpolar compounds (alcohols, halothane, pentrane, diethyl ether, chloroform) and the amphipathic compound, ketamine. All anesthetics tested increase the mobility of the spin labels in phospholipid vesicles to a limited extent up to a concentration where the ESR spectra become those of free spin labels. On the other hand, anesthetics have a pronounced effect on mitochondrial membranes at concentrations as low as those known to produce general anesthesia; the effect is lower near the bilayer surface (5-doxyl stearic acid) and very strong in the bilayer core (16-doxyl stearic acid). The effects of anesthetics are mimicked by the detergent, Triton X-100. We suggest that the discrepancy between the action of anesthetics in mobilizing the spin labels in lipid vesicles and in membranes results from labilization of lipid protein interactions.