Halothane inhibits neural plasma membrane Ca2+-ATPase, a pump that ejects Ca2+ from the cell after influx through voltage- or ligand-activated channels. Intracellular microelectrode recordings in mouse embryonic cortical and spinal cord neurons showed that halothane and eosin, a pump inhibitor, prolonged repolarization associated with spontaneous bursts of depolarization. These agents also prolonged the repolarization phases of electrically induced action potentials and of capsaicin-mediated Ca2+-dependent depolarization in mouse adult dorsal root ganglion neurons. In keeping with these findings, confocal microfluorimetry showed that halothane delayed clearance of intracellular Ca2+ accumulated by N-methyl-D-aspartate stimulation of single neurons.
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