Isoflurane Disrupts Central Pattern Generator Activity and Coordination in the Lamprey Isolated Spinal Cord
Although volatile anesthetics such as isoflurane can depress sensory and motor neurons in the spinal cord, movement occurring during anesthesia can be coordinated, involving multiple limbs as well as the head and trunk. However, it is unclear whether volatile anesthetics depress locomotor interneurons comprising central pattern generators or disrupt intersegmental central pattern generator coordination. Methods: Lamprey spinal cords were excised during anesthesia and placed in a bath containing
... n a bath containing artificial cerebrospinal fluid and D-glutamate to induce fictive swimming. The rostral, middle, and caudal regions were bath-separated using acrylic partitions and petroleum jelly, and in each compartment, the authors recorded ventral root activity. The authors selectively delivered isoflurane (0.5, 1, and 1.5%) only to the middle segments of the spinal cord. Spectral analyses were then used to assess isoflurane effects on central pattern generator activity and coordination. Results: Isoflurane dose-dependently reduced fictive locomotor activity in all three compartments, with 1.5% isoflurane nearly eliminating activity in the middle compartment and reducing spectral amplitudes in the anesthetic-free rostral and caudal compartments to 23% and 31% of baseline, respectively. Isoflurane decreased burst frequency in the caudal compartment only, to 53% of baseline. Coordination of central pattern generator activity between the rostral and caudal compartments was also dose-dependently decreased, to 42% of control at 1.5% isoflurane. Conclusion: Isoflurane disrupts motor output by reducing interneuronal central pattern generator activity in the spinal cord. The effects of isoflurane on motor output outside the site of isoflurane application were presumably independent of effects on sensory or motor neurons.