Halothane anesthesia decreases the extracellular level of dopamine in rat striatum: a microdialysis study in vivo
Adachi Y, Uchihashi Y, Watanabe K, Satoh T.
Department of Anesthesiology,
National Defense Medical College,
3-2 Namiki, Tokorozawa,
Saitama 359-8513, Japan.
J Anesth. 2000 Apr 25;14(2):82-90.


PURPOSE: In our previous microdialysis study, sevoflurane or isoflurane anesthesia significantly decreased the extracellular level of dopamine in rat striatum in vivo. On the other hand, other investigators demonstrated that halothane anesthesia either increased or did not affect the extracellular dopamine level. To explore the differences among these volatile anesthetics, the effects of halothane and nitrous oxide on the striatal dopamine level were reinvestigated. METHODS: Halothane alone, nitrous oxide with or without halothane, or drugs known to affect the dopaminergic pathway were administered to rats. Microdialysates were collected every 20 min and directly applied to an on-line high-performance liquid chromatograph without any pretreatment. The effects of halothane on respiratory and cardiovascular variables were monitored. RESULTS: General anesthesia with halothane alone decreased the dialysate (extracellular) concentration of dopamine but increased that of dopamine metabolites. Nitrous oxide alone slightly increased dopamine metabolites in dialysates but did not affect the halothane-induced decrease in extracellular dopamine. Apomorphine and haloperidol reproduced reported results, confirming the adequacy of our methodology. Nomifensine- or methamphetamine-induced increase in extracellular dopamine was augmented by halothane. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that halothane potently enhances striatal dopamine release and activates the reuptake or metabolic process, which is consistent with our previous results for sevoflurane or isoflurane. Volatile anesthetics interfere with dopamine regulation, at least in the rat striatum.
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