Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2018 May;16(2):176-183. 10.9758/cpn.2018.16.2.176.

Intravenous Anesthetic, Propofol Affects Synaptic Responses in Cerebellar Purkinje Cells

  • 1Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA.
  • 2Department of Physiology, Konyang University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.
  • 3Department of Anesthesiology, Yeosu Chonnam Hospital, Yeosu, Korea.
  • 4Department of Physiology, Jeju National University School of Medicine, Jeju, Korea.
  • 5Department of Anatomy, Konyang University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.
  • 6Myunggok Medical Research Institute, Konyang University, Daejeon, Korea.


Propofol is an intravenously administered anesthetic that enhances γ-aminobutyric acid-mediated inhibition in the central nerve system. Other mechanisms may also be involved in general anesthesia. Propofol has been implicated in movement disorders. The cerebellum is important for motor coordination and motor learning. The aim of the present study was to investigate the propofol effect on excitatory synaptic transmissions in cerebellar cortex.
Excitatory postsynaptic currents by parallel fiber stimulation and complex spikes by climbing fiber stimulation were monitored in Purkinje cells of Wister rat cerebellar slice using whole-cell patch-clamp techniques.
Decay time, rise time and amplitude of excitatory postsynaptic currents at parallel fiber Purkinje cell synapses and area of complex spikes at climbing fiber Purkinje cell synapses were significantly increased by propofol administration.
The detected changes of glutamatergic synaptic transmission in cerebellar Purkinje cell, which determine cerebellar motor output, could explain cerebellar mechanism of motor deficits induced by propofol.


Anesthetics; Propofol; Cerebellum; Purkinje cells; Synaptic transmission
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