Anaesthesiology

Pharmacological organ protection

Inhalational agents such as sevoflurane and desflurane are widely known and used anaesthetics in daily practice. Various studies have shown that volatile anaesthetics are protective in inflammatory situations such as ischemia-reperfusion or severe inflammation, defining this kind of protection as pharmacological conditioning. Degree of organ injury is thereby decreased. Regarding the time of administration of the anaesthetics, pre- (before onset of injury) and post-conditioning (after the onset of injury) have to be differentiated. Based on former experiments it is hypothesized that the protection is provided through the presence of trifluorinated carbon groups (-CF3). Therefore, volatile anaesthetics as well as water-soluble compounds carrying such fluorinated parts are assessed with regard to their possible protective effect in ischemia-reperfusion and sepsis models. Beside focusing on organ injury we try to elucidate signaling pathways of pharmacological protection in lung, liver, heart and brain in vitro as well as in vivo.
An additional topic is the interaction of local anaesthetics with injured tissue. Several studies have shown that local anaesthetics provide protection, attenuating inflammatory processes. Our group further elucidates intracellular pathways, which are involved in signaling anti-inflammatory effects of local anaesthetics.
Finally, local and general anaesthetics are tested with regard to their perioperative influence on cancer cells and their metastasic behavior in vitro as well as in vivo.