Effects of intravenous anesthetics on Ca2+ sensitivity in canine tracheal smooth muscle

Motohiko Hanazaki, Keith A. Jones, David O. Warner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background: Halothane and other volatile anesthetics relax airway smooth muscle in part by decreasing the amount of force produced for a particular intracellular calcium concentration (the Ca2+ sensitivity) during muscarinic receptor stimulation. In this study, ketamine, propofol, and midazolam were evaluated to determine whether the inhibitory effect of volatile anesthetics on this signal transduction pathway is a general property of other types of anesthetic drugs. Methods: A β-escin permeabilized canine tracheal smooth muscle preparation was used. Ketamine, propofol, and midazolam, in concentrations producing near-maximal relaxation in intact airway smooth muscle (200 μM, 270 μM, and 100 μM, respectively), were applied to permeabilized muscles stimulated with calcium in either the absence or the presence of muscarinic receptor stimulation provided by acetylcholine. The effect of halothane also was evaluated. Results: Confirming previous studies, halothane (0.75 mM) decreased calcium sensitivity during muscarinic receptor stimulation. None of the intravenous anesthetics studied affected Ca2+ sensitivity, either in the absence or the presence of muscarinic receptor stimulation. Conclusions: Intravenous anesthetics in high concentrations directly relax canine tracheal smooth muscle without affecting Ca2+ sensitivity. The inhibition of agonist- induced increases in Ca2+ sensitivity of canine tracheal smooth is not a common property of anesthetics, but is unique to volatile agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-139
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2000


  • Airways
  • Bronchodilators
  • G proteins
  • Intracellular calcium concentration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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