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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Interaction of isoflurane with the dopamine transporter.

BACKGROUND: Isoflurane administration is known to increase extracellular dopamine (DA) concentration. Because the dopamine transporter ( DAT) is a key regulator of DA, it is likely affected by isoflurane. This study investigates the hypothesis that isoflurane inhibits DA reuptake by causing DAT to be trafficked into the cell. METHODS: Rhesus monkeys were scanned with positron emission tomography (PET) using [18F]FECNT (a highly specific DAT ligand) while anesthetized with 1% isoflurane. The isoflurane was increased to 2%, and the animals were rescanned. Uptake was analyzed with the tissue reference method using the cerebellum as the reference tissue to determine the binding potential in the putamen. Immunohistochemistry and Western blot analyses were performed in rats to determine if isoflurane administration would change the total amount of DAT. Rats breathed air plus 2% isoflurane for 30 min, and then striatal DAT assays were rapidly performed. immunocytochemistry experiments were performed using human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells stably transfected with human DAT. The cells were exposed to 4% isoflurane for 1 h while the location of DAT was observed with fluorescent confocal microscopy. RESULTS: The [18F]FECNT binding potential in rhesus monkeys decreased by 63 +/- 6% (SEM, n = 5) when isoflurane was increased from 1 to 2% as compared with no significant change (0.7 +/- 2.5%; SEM, n = 5) when the isoflurane concentration was not changed (P < 0.001). No difference in DAT staining between isoflurane-treated and control rats was apparent from visual inspection, and quantitative Western blot analyses showed no significant change in total DAT protein. After isoflurane treatment, focal puncta of intense fluorescence was visible inside the HEK cells. CONCLUSIONS: The experiments indicate that DAT is trafficked into the cell by isoflurane without changing the total amount of DAT in the striatum. The PET data are consistent with this finding, provided that intracellular DAT acquires a conformation that has low affinity for [18F]FECNT. Thus, [18F]FECNT appears to be an excellent agent for measuring plasma membrane-expressed DAT and evaluating DAT trafficking.[1]


  1. Interaction of isoflurane with the dopamine transporter. Votaw, J., Byas-Smith, M., Hua, J., Voll, R., Martarello, L., Levey, A.I., Bowman, F.D., Goodman, M. Anesthesiology (2003) [Pubmed]
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