Voltage-Gated Ion Channels

Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 182)


How and where simple volatile organic molecules act in the central nervous system to cause loss of consciousness and insensitivity to pain has eluded investigation; yet remarkable progress has been made recently towards identifying possible molecular targets through which the mechanism of anesthesia is tranduced. It is likely that anesthetics act by binding directly to protein targets; several possible candidates have been identified and the debate now focuses on whether general anesthesia is due to large effects at a relatively small number of critical molecular sites or due to the combined effects of small perturbations at a very large number of sites; voltage-gated ion channels are contenders for either possibility and are the subject of this review.


Dorsal Root Ganglion Neuron Minimum Alveolar Anesthetic Concentration Anesthetic Sensitivity Pore Domain Potassium Channel Rhythmic Burst Firing 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Nau
    • 1
  1. 1.Klinik für AnästhesiologieUniversität Erlangen-NürnbergErlangenGermany

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