The human carotid body: expression of oxygen sensing and signaling genes of relevance for anesthesia.
Hypoxia is a common cause of adverse events in the postoperative period, where respiratory depression due to residual effects of drugs used in anesthesia is an important underlying factor. General anesthetics and neuromuscular blocking agents reduce the human ventilatory response to hypoxia. Although the carotid body (CB) is the major oxygen sensor in humans, critical oxygen sensing and signaling pathways have been investigated only in animals so far. Thus, the aim of this study was to characterize the expression of key genes and localization of their products involved in the human oxygen sensing and signaling pathways with a focus on receptor systems and ion channels of relevance in anesthesia.
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