Navigation Links
Chloroform provides clue to 150 year old medical puzzle

One of the earliest general anaesthetics to be used by the medical profession, chloroform, has shed light on a mystery thats puzzled doctors for more than 150 years how such anaesthetics actually work.

A discovery described as true serendipity made by Leeds University PhD student Dr Yahya Bahnasi, has provided a clue that may unravel the enigma of general anaesthesia and offer the opportunity to design new generations of anaesthetics without harmful side effects.

We take general anaesthesia for granted nowadays, but its still true to say that we dont know exactly how it works on a molecular level, says Dr Bahnasi, a qualified medical doctor on an Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education Scholarship at the Universitys Faculty of Biological Sciences.

However, I was examining the relationship between lipids and atherosclerosis [the furring up of arteries] and it just so happened that the lipids I was using were supplied already dissolved in chloroform. I noticed that the chloroform inhibited, or blocked, the calcium ion channel TRPC5 it was quite a striking effect.

Ion channels are pathways that allow electrically charged atoms to pass across cell membranes to carry out various functions such as pain transmission and the timing of the heart beat. TRPC5 calcium ion channels are found in many tissues around the body but are predominant in the brain.

We know that this ion channel plays a signalling role in the central nervous system, which regulates the conscious and unconscious states, so I was left wondering whether inhibiting this calcium ion channel was one mechanism by which anaesthesia works, says Dr Bahnasi.

Dr Bahnasi then carried out further experiments with several other modern anaesthetic compounds, both intravenous and inhaled, and found that the blocking effect on the TRPC5 ion channel was the same.

He says that the discovery opens up the opportunity to design and develop new generations of anaesthetics which directly target TRPC5, but with minimised side effects.

Of course there are multi-molecular events that work together in anaesthesia, and inhibiting the TRPC5 ion channel may just be one of them. But its a great start in piecing together the underlying mechanisms and providing a novel molecular target for new drug design, he says. And its particularly fitting that this evidence was revealed by chloroform, the grandfather of modern anaesthetics.


Contact: Jo Kelly
University of Leeds

Related biology news :

1. Bioinformatics technology developed at Argonne provides new insight into microbial activities
2. Research with squirrels provides clues on hormones role in human learning
3. Researcher provides tool to enable determination of age of anchovies with greater precision
4. Scripps expedition provides new baseline for coral reef conservation
5. Mesothelin engineered on virus-like particles provides treatment clues for pancreatic cancer
6. Antarctic expedition provides new insights into the role of the Southern Ocean for global climate
7. HIV isolate from Kenya provides clues for vaccine design
8. Book on little-known species and conservation provides guidance to managers and others
9. Shell Provides Consumers Gasoline Industrys First Pay By Touch Technology at the Pump
10. Study involving more than 100 scientists provides new insights on green algae
11. Canada provides $1.4M for removal of hazardous trees from provincial recreation sites
Post Your Comments:
(Date:7/20/2017)... DAL ) customers now can use fingerprints instead of their boarding ... ... biometrics to board aircraft at Reagan Washington National Airport ... Delta,s biometric boarding pass experience that launched in May at the ... to allow eligible Delta SkyMiles Members who are enrolled in CLEAR to ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... and ITHACA, N.Y. , June ... Cornell University, a leader in dairy research, today announced ... designed to help reduce the chances that the global ... onset of this dairy project, Cornell University has become ... Sequencing the Food Supply Chain, a food safety initiative ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... Italy , May 23, 2017  Hunova, the first robotic gym ... trunk, has been officially launched in Genoa, Italy . ... Europe and the USA . The technology ... on the market by the IIT spin-off Movendo Technology thanks to a ... the Multimedia News Release, please click: ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Personal eye wash is a basic first aid supply for any ... So which eye do you rinse first if a dangerous substance enters both eyes? It’s ... Wash with its unique dual eye piece. , “Whether its dirt and debris, or ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and increased emissions ... over 5.5 million people each year. Especially those living in larger cities are affected ... based in one of the most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to take action. ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... program has won a US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of the FirstHand program ... in Volunteer Experience from US2020. , US2020’s mission is to change the trajectory ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... PA (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... year’s recipients of 13 prestigious awards honoring scientists who have ... presented in a scheduled symposium during Pittcon 2018, the world’s leading conference and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: