Identification of the central imidazoline receptor subtype involved in modulation of halothane-epinephrine arrhythmias in rats

Anesth Analg. 2005 Dec;101(6):1689-1694. doi: 10.1213/01.ANE.0000184185.69471.F6.


We previously reported that imidazoline receptors in the central nervous system are involved in modulation of halothane-epinephrine arrhythmias. These receptors have been subclassified as I1 and I2 subtypes, but it is not known which receptor subtype is involved in halothane-epinephrine-induced arrhythmias. We designed the present study to clarify the involvement of central imidazoline receptor subtype in the modulation of halothane-epinephrine-induced arrhythmias. Rats were anesthetized with halothane and monitored continuously for systemic arterial blood pressure and premature ventricular contractions. The arrhythmogenic dose of epinephrine was defined as the smallest dose that produces three or more premature ventricular contractions within a 15-s period. Intracisternal moxonidine dose-dependently inhibited the epinephrine-induced arrhythmias during halothane anesthesia. Intracisternal efaroxan, a selective I1 antagonist with little affinity for I2 subtype, but not rauwolscine, an alpha2 antagonist without affinity for imidazoline receptors, blocked the antiarrhythmic effect of moxonidine. Intracisternal BU 224 and 2-BFI, selective I2 ligands, also inhibited the epinephrine-induced arrhythmias dose-dependently; however, these effects were abolished by efaroxan. We conclude that central I1, but not I2, receptors play an important role in inhibition of halothane-epinephrine arrhythmia.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / chemically induced*
  • Benzofurans / pharmacology
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Epinephrine / pharmacology*
  • Halothane / pharmacology*
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Imidazoles / pharmacology
  • Imidazoline Receptors
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Drug / classification
  • Receptors, Drug / physiology*


  • BU 224
  • Benzofurans
  • Imidazoles
  • Imidazoline Receptors
  • Receptors, Drug
  • moxonidine
  • efaroxan
  • Halothane
  • Epinephrine