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.
- enzymatic activity
- rat synaptosomes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Drug Discovery