We examined the effects of a general anesthetic 2,6-diisopropylphenol (propofol) on ATP- and α,β-methylene ATP (αβmeATP)-activated currents in the human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK 293) cells expressing recombinant P2X receptor channels, using the whole-cell patch-clamp method. Propofol at clinical relevant concentrations (~56 μM) potentiated the current responses through the P2X4 receptor in a dose-dependent manner, whereas propofol did not affect the responses through the P2X2 receptor or through the heterologous complex of the P2X2 and P2X3 (P2X2+3) receptor. These results suggest that activation of P2X4 subtype in the brain and the motor neurons of the spinal anterior horn might be involved in the excitatory effect by propofol such as convulsion and unexpected movements. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.
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