Navigation Links
Propofol discovery may help lead to development of new anaesthetics
Date:9/22/2013

New research on the most commonly used anaesthetic drug could help to unravel a long-standing mystery about how it induces a pain-free, sleep-like state.

General anaesthetics are administered to tens of millions of people every year in hospitals, where they are used to sedate patients undergoing surgery. Despite this, scientists have yet to understand how the drug interacts with its targets in brain cells to achieve this effect.

Following years of research on propofol, which has become the most commonly used anaesthetic since it was introduced in the 1980s, researchers at Imperial College London and Washington University School of Medicine have published a study in the journal Nature Chemical Biology in which they identify exactly how the drug acts at a molecular level.

Researchers had already identified the receptor that propofol interacts with in the brain. Having a more detailed picture of exactly how propofol works in the brain may help scientists to design new versions of the drug that reduce the risks involved in surgery and ultimately improve patient safety.

Propofol has also become widely known as the drug linked to the death of superstar Michael Jackson in 2009.

"The job of the skilled anaesthetist is so important because in addition to the desirable effects of anaesthetics which make surgery possible, current anaesthetics can have unwanted effects on the heart, on blood pressure and can also interfere with breathing during surgery," said the study's co-principal investigator Professor Nick Franks from the Department of Life Sciences at Imperial College London.

"Whilst propofol is the best anaesthetic we have today, it is important for patient safety that we come up with new versions of the drug that work just as well or better as anaesthetics, but have fewer or less dangerous side effects."

"For many years, the mechanisms by which anaesthetics act have remained elusive," explained co-principal investigator Alex S Evers, MD, the Henry E. Mallinckrodt Professor and head of the Department of Anesthesiology at Washington University.

"We knew that intravenous anaesthetics, like propofol, act on an important receptor on brain cells called the GABAA receptor, but we didn't really know exactly where they bound to that receptor."

In an attempt to understand how propofol induces anaesthesia during surgery, scientists have tried to identify how and where it interacts with receptors in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors. Activating these receptors with propofol for example stops a nerve cell communicating with its neighbours, leading to unconsciousness.

For this study, the scientists created a molecule that closely resembles and mimics propofol but has an added hook that grabs onto the GABAA receptor and won't let it go when it is activated by a bright light. They then extracted the receptor, cut it into pieces and identified the place on the protein that the propofol mimic had attached to.

Using the techniques they have developed, the scientists say they will now identify binding sites of other anaesthetics. They believe their approach also can be used to study other types of drugs, such as psychiatric agents and anti-seizure drugs.


'/>"/>

Contact: Simon Levey
s.levey@imperial.ac.uk
44-020-759-46702
Imperial College London
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study shows rising rate of propofol abuse by health care professionals
2. Recovery from propofol anesthesia may be sped by use of common stimulant
3. American Brain Tumor Association Seeks Inventive Ideas for Research Discovery Grants
4. Life Sciences Discovery Fund announces $3.7m in research and development grants
5. Molecular Imaging, Inc. Announces New Webinar: Advancing Discovery and Development of Biologics Through Non-Invasive Biodistribution Imaging
6. Almac Discovery and Queens launch £13M cancer drug discovery partnership
7. Shapeshifting computer program will open up drug discovery for tricky disease targets
8. Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits Proceed Against Ethicon, as Bernstein Liebhard LLP Notes Order for Discovery Conferences in Federal Ethicon Litigation
9. Transvaginal Mesh Multidistrict Litigation Update: Court Issues New Pretrial Order that Moves Ethicon Inc.’s Discovery Forward, Notes Parker Waichman
10. ChanTest Announces Third User Meeting: Partnerships in Drug Discovery
11. Voices Against Brain Cancer Comments on Discovery of Nano Drug That May Aid in Treatment of Brain Tumors
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... Cifolelli has joined the company as Vice President of Sales. Cifolelli’s primary ... and international sales in the rapidly expanding field of organizational social engineering. ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... i2i, ... identity and website at its “Transforming Outcomes” User Conference in Las Vegas on ... i2i’s ongoing success to set the market standard for meaningful population health management. ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... Educational opportunities, ... housing, with more advantaged communities providing richer opportunities. Recognizing the key role of ... school improvement policies; (b) school choice policies; (c) school desegregation policies; (d) wealth-focused ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... Georgia (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2016 , ... Mental ... 1969 by the Church of Scientology and renowned professor of psychiatry Thomas Szasz, is ... of its “Psychiatry: An Industry of Death” exhibit in Atlanta, Georgia. The opening of ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... treatment for physical disease or injury that focuses on repairing the musculoskeletal and ... , With an emphasis on functional restoration, NYDNRehab began providing treatments for physical ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... LAWRENCE, Mass. , May 24, 2016  NxStage ... medical technology company focused on advancing renal care, today ... Officer, plans to participate in the following schedule of ... will be made available at http://ir.nxstage.com/ . ... Jefferies Healthcare Conference NY, NY           Friday, ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... May 24, 2016  Joe Marziani has joined VMS BioMarketing as senior vice president ... today. In his new role, Marziani will lead the company,s business development and sales ... improve outcomes. Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160523/371089 ... ... ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016 ... doble terapia del mundo, introduce catéteres para la ... OrbusNeich, una compañía global especializada en el ... ha expandido su cartera incluyendo productos para tratar ... y Scoreflex™ PTA son los dispositivos de primera ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: