A benzodiazepine receptor antagonist improves emergence of mice from halothane anaesthesia

E. Geller*, B. Schiff, P. Halpern, Z. Speiser, S. Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The benzodiazepine receptor antagonist, flumazenil, at a dose of 10 mg/kg given intra-peritoneally to mice, had no effect on the minimum air concentration (MAC-50) of halothane causing anesthesia in 50% of the animals and which was 1.0% by volume of the inhaled air. Diazepam, 10 mg/kg, potentiated the effect of halothane. When the mice had been pretreated with diazepam and flumazenil, 10 mg/kg or 20 mg/kg, partial but not complete reversal of the potentiating effect of diazepam was observed, minimum air concentration values being 0.6% after diazepam alone and 0.8% after diazepam and flumazenil. However, mice pretreated intraperitoneally with flumazenil, in the concentration range 1-10 mg/kg, delivered as a solution in polyethylene glycol-Intralipid vehicle or as a suspension in saline, recovered control levels of spontaneous motor activity much faster than in the absence of flumazenil, on emergence from halothane-induced anaesthesia. In this range, the effect was not dose-dependent. These findings suggest that some of the effects of halothane are mediated at the level of the benzodiazepine receptor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-274
Number of pages4
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1989


  • benzodiazepine receptor
  • emergence
  • flumazenil
  • halothane anaesthesia


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