Cross-sensitivity between isoflurane and diazepam: Evidence from a bidirectional tolerance study in mice

Ron Flaishon, Pinchas Halpern, Patrick Sorkine, Avraham Weinbroum, Svetlana Leschiner, Oded Szold, Valery Rudick, Moshe Gavish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We examined in mice the effect of chronic diazepam treatment on the sensitivity to isoflurane, and that of repeated isoflurane exposure on the sensitivity to diazepam. Mice were divided into four groups: group 1, treated with diazepam, 10 mg/kg i.p. twice daily; group 2, vehicle-treated controls; group 3, exposed to 3% isoflurane for 25 min twice daily; and group 4, untreated controls. After 14 days the effect of the treatment was assessed. Twenty-four hours after the last 10 mg/kg diazepam treatment, groups 1 and 2 received diazepam, 5 mg/kg i.p., and were subjected to the horizontal wire test (HWT). All control mice but only 10% of the diazepam-treated mice failed the HWT. Groups 1 and 2 were then exposed to increasing concentrations of isoflurane. Diazepam-treated mice (group 1) lost the HWT at 0.7 ± 0.7%, compared with 0.6 ± 0.1% in controls (group 2) (P < 0.001); the ED50 was 0.75% vs. 0.65%. Group 1 mice lost the righting reflex at 0.94 ± 0.07% isoflurane vs. 0.87 ± 0.06% in group 2 (P < 0.01); the ED50 was 0.93% vs. 0.82%. Recovery time was 175 ± 161 s in group 1 vs. 343 ± 275 s in group 2 (P < 0.02). Twenty-four hours after the last of the repeated exposures to isoflurane, we examined the responses of groups 3 and 4 to increasing concentrations of isoflurane. Mice in group 3 lost the righting reflex at 1.0 ± 0.06% isoflurane vs. 0.9 ± 0.04% in controls (group 4) (P < 0.001); the ED50 was 0.96% vs. 0.85%. Recovery time was 113 ± 124 s vs. 208 ± 126 s in groups 3 and 4 (P < 0.09). Diazepam, 3 mg/kg i.p. administered to groups 3 and 4, caused loss of the HWT reflex in 33% of group 3 mice and in 82% of controls (group 4) (P < 0.001). It appears that prolonged exposure to both diazepam and isoflurane caused reduced sensitivity to each drug separately, as well as to the other drug. This finding may strengthen the theory that inhalational anesthetics may act via the same mechanism as the benzodiazepines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-293
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Research
Volume815
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 9 Jan 1999

Keywords

  • Benzodiazepine
  • Inhaled anesthetic
  • Isoflurane
  • Mechanism of action
  • Reduced sensitivity
  • Tolerance

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