Structural and functional modifications induced by ketamine on synaptosomes in the rat

Laura Mazzanti, G. Lenaz, F. Marinelli, S. Cinti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study correlates previous observations on the effects of a general anaesthetic (2-chlorophenyl-2-methylaminocyclohexanone, trade name Ketalar), administered in vivo on the functional properties of synaptosomes from the brain of the rat, with structural modifications detected using freeze-fracture electron microscopy. The anaesthetized rats exhibited a fluidization of the synaptic membranes, as probed by stearic acid spin labels, accompanied by a decrease in the activity of acetylcholinesterase. The freeze-fracture images of synaptosomes from anaesthetized rats showed a clear statistical increase in the number of vesicles with aggregated intramembrane particles, without any significant change of the particle diameter. The hypothesis that a perturbation of the lipid protein interaction is a primary effect, in the mechanism of action of anaesthetics, is supported at present only by indirect evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1343-1349
Number of pages7
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1991


  • acetylcholinesterase
  • enzymatic activity
  • freeze-fracturing
  • ketamine
  • membranes
  • rat synaptosomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology


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