Isoflurane depresses diffuse noxious inhibitory controls in rats between 0.8 and 1.2 Minimum alveolar anesthetic concentration

Steven L. Jinks, Joseph F. Antognini, Earl Carstens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Diffuse noxious inhibitory control (DNIC) occurs when the response to a noxious stimulus is inhibited by a second, spatially remote noxious stimulus. The minimum alveolar anesthetic concentration (MAC) to suppress movement is not altered by a second remote noxious stimulus. We hypothesized that DNIC would be depressed in the peri-MAC range. Rats were anesthetized with isoflurane, and MAC was measured. We recorded dorsal horn neuronal responses to noxious thermal stimulation of the hindpaw, with or without concomitant supramaximal noxious mechanical stimulation of the tail or contralateral hindpaw. At 0.8 MAC, the tail clamp decreased neuronal responses 70% compared with control heat-evoked responses (from 1032 ± 178 impulses per minute to 301 ± 135 impulses per minute; P < 0.05). The tail clamp had no significant effect on neuronal responses at 1.2 MAC (from 879 ± 139 impulses per minute to 825 ± 191 impulses per minute; P > 0.05). Similarly, 1.2 MAC isoflurane significantly depressed DNIC elicited by hindpaw clamping. In another group, the cervical spinal cord was reversibly blocked by cooling to determine whether the inhibition was mediated supraspinally. With spinal cord cooling, the counterstimulus-evoked inhibition was not observed at 0.8 MAC. These results suggest that DNIC involves supraspinal structures and is present at subMAC isoflurane concentrations but is depressed at more than 1 MAC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-116
Number of pages6
JournalAnesthesia and Analgesia
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Isoflurane depresses diffuse noxious inhibitory controls in rats between 0.8 and 1.2 Minimum alveolar anesthetic concentration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this