Despite major advances, there remains a need for novel anesthetic drugs or drug combinations with improved efficacy and safety profiles. Here, we show that inhibition of cAMP-phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4), while not inducing anesthesia by itself, potently enhances the anesthetic effects of Isoflurane in mice. Treatment with several distinct PAN-PDE4 inhibitors, including Rolipram, Piclamilast, Roflumilast, and RS25344, significantly delayed the time-to-righting after Isoflurane anesthesia. Conversely, treatment with a PDE3 inhibitor, Cilostamide, or treatment with the potent, but non-brain-penetrant PDE4 inhibitor YM976, had no effect. These findings suggest that potentiation of Isoflurane hypnosis is a class effect of brain-penetrant PDE4 inhibitors, and that they act by synergizing with Isoflurane in inhibiting neuronal activity. The PDE4 family comprises four PDE4 subtypes, PDE4A to PDE4D. Genetic deletion of any of the four PDE4 subtypes in mice did not affect Isoflurane anesthesia per se. However, PDE4D knockout mice are largely protected from the effect of pharmacologic PDE4 inhibition, suggesting that PDE4D is the predominant, but not the sole PDE4 subtype involved in potentiating Isoflurane anesthesia. Pretreatment with Naloxone or Propranolol alleviated the potentiating effect of PDE4 inhibition, implicating opioid- and β-adrenoceptor signaling in mediating PDE4 inhibitor-induced augmentation of Isoflurane anesthesia. Conversely, stimulation or blockade of α-adrenergic, α-adrenergic or serotonergic signaling did not affect the potentiation of Isoflurane hypnosis by PDE4 inhibition. We further show that pretreatment with a PDE4 inhibitor boosts the delivery of bacteria into the lungs of mice after intranasal infection under Isoflurane, thus providing a first example that PDE4 inhibitor-induced potentiation of Isoflurane anesthesia can critically impact animal models and must be considered as a factor in experimental design. Our findings suggest that PDE4/PDE4D inhibition may serve as a tool to delineate the exact molecular mechanisms of Isoflurane anesthesia, which remain poorly understood, and may potentially be exploited to reduce the clinical doses of Isoflurane required to maintain hypnosis.

References

PubMed