Nav: Home

Scientists find what might be responsible for slow heart function under general anesthesia

May 12, 2016

Anesthesia is used every day, but surprisingly little is known about one of its most dangerous side effects--depressed heart function. Now, thanks to a team of Johns Hopkins researchers who published a new research article in The FASEB Journal, this mystery is clarified as they identify which proteins in heart muscle are affected by anesthesia. This, in turn, opens the doors to the development of new anesthetics that would not have depressed heart function as a side effect.

"General anesthetics are the most dangerous group of drugs that physicians use, in part because of effects like that studied here," said Wei Dong Gao, M.D., Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. "A detailed understanding of how the anesthetic drug produces this effect helps the physician to understand how to predict and counteract it, as well as to understand how to alter the anesthetic itself to minimize it."

In their study, Gao and colleagues conducted two series of experiments. In one series, excised rat heart muscle tissue was mounted onto a device that directly measured the force of contraction at the same time as intracellular calcium concentration. These muscles were then treated with the anesthetic and their force production was recorded. In the second series of experiments, protein extracts of heart muscle were treated with special light-reactive anesthetics and subjected to light in order to "glue" the anesthetic to the particular material with which it was complexed. Although the anesthetics became bound to all of the various proteins, the most extensive binding was observed in three proteins, including actin and myosin- the muscle force producing proteins. The investigators then used mass spectrometry to home in on the particular regions in each protein to which the anesthetics were bound and these turned out to be domains that are critical for the proteins' contractile function. Although this study was a basic laboratory investigation, the results emphasize that careful attention to heart performance is required when deploying general anesthesia, especially for patients with at risk for heart failure or with any other condition that compromises heart pumping function.

"This report is a great example of how discoveries in the laboratory could translate into advances in human health," said Thoru Pederson, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "Now that we have this very plausible basis for why anesthesia causes depressed heart function, scientists can begin to develop new drugs without this dangerous effect."
-end-
Submit to The FASEB Journal by visiting http://fasebj.msubmit.net, and receive monthly highlights by signing up at http://www.faseb.org/fjupdate.aspx. The FASEB Journal is published by the Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). It is the world's most cited biology journal according to the Institute for Scientific Information and has been recognized by the Special Libraries Association as one of the top 100 most influential biomedical journals of the past century.

FASEB is composed of 30 societies with more than 125,000 members, making it the largest coalition of biomedical research associations in the United States. Our mission is to advance health and welfare by promoting progress and education in biological and biomedical sciences through service to our member societies and collaborative advocacy.

Details: Tao Meng, Weiming Bu, Xianfeng Ren, Xinzhong Chen, Jingui Yu, Roderic G. Eckenhoff, and Wei Dong Gao. Molecular mechanism of anesthetic-induced depression of myocardial contraction. FASEB J. doi:10.1096/fj.201600290RR ; http://www.fasebj.org/content/early/2016/05/10/fj.201600290RR.abstract

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Related Anesthesia Articles:

Visual recognition memory impaired after multiple exposures to anesthesia during infancy
Repeated exposure to a common anesthesia drug early in life results in visual recognition memory impairment, which emerges after the first year of life and may persist long-term, according to a study from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published online May 31 in The British Journal of Anaesthesia.
Conscious sedation is a safe alternative to general anesthesia for heart valve procedure
UCLA scientists have found that conscious sedation -- a type of anesthesia in which patients remain awake but are sleepy and pain-free -- is a safe and viable option to general anesthesia for people undergoing a minimally invasive heart procedure called transcatheter aortic valve replacement.
Access to anesthesia care is not improved when states eliminate physician supervision
Patient access to anesthesia care for seven common surgical procedures is not increased when states 'opt-out' of the Medicare rule that requires anesthesia to be administered with physician supervision, reports a study published in the online first edition of Anesthesiology, the peer-reviewed medical journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.
Anesthesia changes neuronal choreography
Even under deep anesthesia, nerve cells remain highly active. A study conducted by researchers from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin has shown by high-resolution cellular imaging that local neuronal networks remain active even when the brain is unconscious.
Small association of surgical anesthesia before age 4, later academic performance
A study of children born in Sweden suggests a small association between exposure to anesthesia for surgery before the age 4 with slightly lower school grades at age 16 and slightly lower IQ scores at 18, according to an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics.
Anesthesia sedation practices for patients in the pediatric congenital cardiac cath lab
The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI), the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia (SPA) and the Congenital Cardiac Anesthesia Society (CCAS), today published recommendations for institutions and physicians diagnosing and treating pediatric patients in the catheterization laboratory.
More Americans undergo procedures involving anesthesia outside of O.R.
More than one-third of Americans who undergo procedures involving anesthesia now have them outside of the operating room (O.R.), an increase of 27 percent in five years, according to an analysis of a large registry being presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2016 annual meeting.
The 'end of pain': How anesthesia works (video)
Anesthesia now allows tens of thousands of patients every day to avoid the pain and memories of their procedures.
Compound shown to reduce brain damage caused by anesthesia in early study
An experimental drug prevented learning deficits in young mice exposed repeatedly to anesthesia.
Anesthesia is safe in the young, study finds
A single exposure to general anesthesia poses no cognitive risk to healthy children under age three, a critical time in brain development, according to a multicenter study led by Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital.

Related Anesthesia Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...