Voss, L. J., Hansson Baas, C., Hansson, L., Alistair Steyn-Ross, D., Steyn-Ross, M., & Sleigh, J. W. (2012). Investigation into the effect of the general anaesthetics etomidate and ketamine on long-range coupling of population activity in the mouse neocortical slice. European Journal of Pharmacology, 689(1-3), 111-117.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/6869
General anaesthetics have been hypothesised to ablate consciousness by decoupling intracortical neural connectivity. We explored this by investigating the effect of etomidate and ketamine on coupling of neural population activity using the low magnesium neocortical slice model. Four extracellular electrodes (50 μm) were positioned in mouse neocortical slices (400 μm thick) with varying separation. The effect of etomidate (24 μM) and ketamine (16 μM) on the timing of population activity recorded between channels was analysed. No decoupling was observed at the closest electrode separation of 0.2 mm. At 4 mm separation, decoupling was observed in 50% and 42% of slices during etomidate and ketamine delivery, respectively (P<0.0001 and P=0.002, compared to 0.2 mm separation). A lower rate of decoupling was observed with 1 mm separation (21% and 8%, respectively, P<0.03 for etomidate compared to 0.2 mm separation). The data support the hypothesis that mechanistically diverse general anaesthetics disrupt neuronal connectivity across widely distributed intracortical networks.