1-Phenoxy-2-propanol Is a Useful Anaesthetic for Gastropods Used in Neurophysiology

J Neurosci Methods. 2009 Jan 30;176(2):121-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2008.08.028. Epub 2008 Sep 2.


Anaesthesia is often used in neurophysiological, surgical, and neuroanatomical protocols. Several anaesthetics, including magnesium chloride, volatiles (halothane, etc.), and barbiturates, have been used in gastropod neurobiology. 1-Phenoxy-2-propanol (PP) is another anaesthetic option that has not yet been used extensively. We provide an analysis of the neural, muscular and behavioural effects of PP in gastropods. PP eliminates action potentials and reduces muscular contraction force in Hermissenda crassicornis, and eliminates behavioural activity in Tritonia diomedea. Our results show these effects are reversible, with complete action potential recovery, at least partial muscular recovery, and full behavioural recovery. Survival after surgery in T. diomedea was longer with PP than without anaesthetic, and PP also reduced contraction during tissue fixation in Lymnaea stagnalis. Moreover, PP can be bath applied, has low toxicity, and is biodegradable. Thus, PP is an effective anaesthetic in three species of gastropods, and useful in neurophysiological dissection, surgical, and fixation protocols.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Anesthetics / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Gastropoda / cytology
  • Gastropoda / drug effects*
  • Gastropoda / physiology*
  • Locomotion / drug effects
  • Locomotion / physiology
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Muscle Contraction / drug effects
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Muscles / drug effects
  • Muscles / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Physical Stimulation / methods
  • Propylene Glycols / pharmacology*


  • Anesthetics
  • Propylene Glycols
  • 1,2-dihydroxy-1-phenylpropane