Anesthesia can affect respiratory, circulatory, and endocrine systems but is necessary for certain experimental procedures such as echocardiography and blood sampling in small animals. We have now investigated the effects of four types of anesthesia [pentobarbital sodium (PENT), ketamine-xylazine (K/X), and low- or high-dose isoflurane (ISO)] on hemodynamics, cardiac function, and glucose and lipid metabolism in Sprague-Dawley rats. Aortic pressure, heart rate, and echocardiographic parameters were measured at various time points up to 45 min after the induction of anesthesia, and blood was then collected for measurement of parameters of glucose and lipid metabolism. Systolic aortic pressure remained constant in the PENT group, whereas it showed a biphasic pattern in the K/X group and a gradual decline in the ISO groups. Marked bradycardia was observed in the K/X group. The serum glucose concentration was increased and the plasma insulin level was reduced in the K/X and ISO groups compared with the PENT group. The concentrations of free fatty acids and norepinephrine in plasma were increased in the K/X group. Despite the metabolic effects of K/X and ISO, our results suggest that the marked bradycardic effect of K-X renders this combination appropriate for measurement of Doppler-derived indexes of left ventricular diastolic function, whereas the relative ease with which the depth of anesthesia can be controlled with ISO makes it suitable for manipulations or data collection over long time periods. On the other hand, PENT may be best suited for experiments that focus on measurement of cardiac function by M-mode echocardiography and metabolic parameters.
- pentobarbital sodium
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