Which molecular targets are most relevant to general anaesthesia?

Toxicol Lett. 1998 Nov 23;100-101:1-8. doi: 10.1016/s0378-4274(98)00158-1.


1. In view of the large number of possible molecular targets of general anaesthetics, it is necessary to have some criteria for judging which targets are important for producing general anaesthesia and which are probably not. 2. We consider in detail two criteria: sensitivity to clinically relevant concentrations of anaesthetics and stereoselectivity to anaesthetic optical isomers. 3. The targets which currently emerge as most important belong to an anaesthetic-sensitive superfamily of genetically related fast neurotransmitter-gated receptor channels present at central synapses.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia, General*
  • Anesthetics, General / chemistry
  • Anesthetics, General / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Ion Channel Gating / drug effects
  • Ion Channel Gating / physiology
  • Ion Channels / drug effects*


  • Anesthetics, General
  • Ion Channels