Volatile anesthetics inhibit presynaptic cGMP signaling to depress presynaptic excitability in rat hippocampal neurons.

TitleVolatile anesthetics inhibit presynaptic cGMP signaling to depress presynaptic excitability in rat hippocampal neurons.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsSpeigel I, Patel K, Osman V, Hemmings HC
Date Published2023 Sep 06

Volatile anesthetics alter presynaptic function through effects on Ca2+ influx and neurotransmitter release. These actions are proposed to play important roles in their pleiotropic neurophysiological effects including immobility, unconsciousness and amnesia. Nitric oxide and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (NO/cGMP) signaling has been implicated in presynaptic mechanisms, and disruption of NO/cGMP signaling has been shown to alter sensitivity to volatile anesthetics in vivo. We investigated volatile anesthetic actions NO/cGMP signaling in relation to presynaptic function in cultured rat hippocampal neurons using pharmacological tools and genetically encoded biosensors and sequestering probes of cGMP levels. Using the fluorescent cGMP biosensor cGull, we found that electrical stimulation-evoked NMDA-type glutamate receptor-independent presynaptic cGMP transients were inhibited 33.2% by isoflurane (0.51 mM) and 26.4% by sevoflurane (0.57 mM) (p < 0.0001) compared to control stimulation without anesthetic. Stimulation-evoked cGMP transients were blocked by the nonselective inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase N-ω-nitro-l-arginine, but not by the selective neuronal nitric oxide synthase inhibitor N5-(1-imino-3-butenyl)-l-ornithine. Isoflurane and sevoflurane inhibition of stimulation-evoked increases in presynaptic Ca2+ concentration, measured with synaptophysin-GCaMP6f, and of synaptic vesicle exocytosis, measured with synaptophysin-pHlourin, was attenuated in neurons expressing the cGMP scavenger protein sponge (inhibition of exocytosis reduced by 54% for isoflurane and by 53% for sevoflurane). The anesthetic-induced reduction in presynaptic excitability was partially occluded by inhibition of HCN channels, a cGMP-modulated excitatory ion channel that can facilitate glutamate release. We propose that volatile anesthetics depress presynaptic cGMP signaling and downstream effectors like HCN channels that are essential to presynaptic function and excitability. These findings identify novel mechanisms by which volatile anesthetics depress synaptic transmission via second messenger signaling involving the NO/cGMP pathway in hippocampal neurons.

Alternate JournalNeuropharmacology
PubMed ID37683886