Anesthetic effects on 5-hydroxytryptamine uptake by rat brain synaptosomes

Dan C. Martin, Clyde A. Watkins, Robert J. Adams, Laura A. Nason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


As a neurotransmitter involved in modulating central nervous system nociception and awareness, 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) may play an important role in the clinical sequelae of certain anesthetic compounds. Anesthetic agents are known to affect peripheral, non-neuronal 5-HT uptake but little is known about their effects on 5-HT metabolism in the central nervous system. The effects of several anesthetic compounds on 5-HT uptake were examined in synaptosomes isolated from rat brain cortex. Inhibition of this uptake process was observed by exposure to clinically relevant concentrations of the volatile anesthetics halothane, isoflurane, and enflurane. The non-volatile agent, ketamine also inhibited uptake while the narcotic fentanyl had an effect only at the highest concentrations tested. Non-volatile agents which had neither a consistent nor significant effect on synaptosomal 5-HT uptake included pentobarbital, sufentanil, and etomidate. These alterations of 5-HT metabolism could represent a mechanism that contributes to anesthetic action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)360-365
Number of pages6
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 12 1988


  • 5-Hydroxytryptamine
  • Ketamine
  • Narcotic
  • Serotonin
  • Synaptosome
  • Volatile anesthetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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