The sensitivity of hyperpolarization-activated cation current (I h) to propofol in rat area postrema neurons

Makoto Funahashi, Yoshihiro Mitoh, Ryuji Matsuo

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Area postrema neurons mediate various autonomic responses, including emesis. We examined the effects of propofol, a widely used anesthetic with antiemetic properties, on the hyperpolarization-activated cation current (I h) in rat area postrema neurons using a slice patch-clamp technique. Although propofol suppressed Ih of area postrema neurons in a dose-dependent manner that was similar to what we observed for the hippocampal CA1 neurons, the IC50 for Ih in area postrema neurons (38 μM) was more than six times less than that found for hippocampal CA1 neurons (235 μM). We conclude that rat area postrema neurons are exquisitely sensitive to propofol. Given that reductions of Ih are associated with decreased excitability in neurons, we believe that the known antiemetic effects of propofol anesthesia are at least partly a result of a direct action on area postrema neurons to lower their excitability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-201
Number of pages4
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 23 2004


  • Area postrema neuron
  • CA1 neuron
  • Excitable membranes and synaptic transmission
  • Hyperpolarization-activated cation current
  • Other ion channels
  • Propofol
  • Rat
  • Slice
  • Whole-cell patch-clamp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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