Purpose: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a psychiatric treatment in which seizures are electrically induced in patients. Prior to treatment, patients are usually given short-acting anaesthetics and muscle relaxants to avoid harm, e.g. musculoskeletal injury, during the convulsions. However, most molecular studies investigating the mechanism of action of ECT have not explored the potential effects of the pre-treatment with anaesthetic and/or muscle relaxant. Experimental design: We have carried out a targeted proteome analysis using multiplex immunoassay platform of serum samples before and 10min after initiating the administration of the anaesthetic methohexital®and the muscle relaxant succinylcholine®to eight major depressive disorder patients undergoing ECT. Results: Twenty-six out of 142 analysed molecules showed significant differences in abundance after the methohexital/succinylcholine treatment. Importantly, eight of these molecules (fatty acid-binding protein, insulin, interleukin (IL)1β, IL-10, IL-4, prolactin, S100 calcium-binding protein B and tumor necrosis factor α) have been associated previously with effects of ECT. Conclusions and clinical relevance: These findings indicate that caution should be used when interpreting results in existing and future proteome-based biomarkers studies on the effects of ECT in neuropsychiatric disease or the use of anaesthetic/muscle relaxant in major surgical operations related to different therapeutic areas.

Anaesthesia, ECT, Multiplexed serum profiling
dx.doi.org/10.1002/prca.201100040, hdl.handle.net/1765/34600
Proteomics - Clinical Applications
This work was funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme; grant id fp7/223427 - Developing minimally invasive, tools and technologies for high throughput, low cost molecular assays for the early diagnosis of schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders (SCHIZDX)
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Stelzhammer, V, Rothermundt, M, Guest, P.C, Michael, N, Sondermann, C, Kluge, W, … Bahn, S. (2011). Proteomic changes induced by anaesthesia and muscle relaxant treatment prior to electroconvulsive therapy. Proteomics - Clinical Applications, 5(11-12), 644–649. doi:10.1002/prca.201100040