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Low susceptibility to inert gases and pressure symptoms (...)

Neuroreport. 2009 Feb ;20(3):343-7
Low susceptibility to inert gases and pressure symptoms in TREK-1-deficient mice.
Vallee N, Rostain JC, Risso JJ.

Nervous disorders may occur after an organism is saturated with inert gases, which may alter the lipid bilayer structure, according to their liposolubility coefficient. Increase in the nitrogen partial pressure induces a neurological syndrome called ’nitrogen narcosis’. By contrast, high pressures of helium induce epilepsy, an high-pressure nervous syndrome symptom. On the basis of an analogy with anaesthetic mechanisms, we used TREK-1 knockout mice, earlier described to volatile the anaesthetics resistance. These mice had a higher threshold of resistance to the narcotic effects of nitrogen and to the death after recurrent epileptic seizure induced by high pressure. TREK-1 channels seem to play a key role in modulating the anaesthetic potential of inert gases and in neuroprotection.


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