It is well known that local anesthetics produce analgesia, anesthesia and anti-arrhythmia by blocking sodium channels. However, the anti-inflammatory properties of local anesthetics and their clinical implications though mechanisms not directly related to sodium channels have stimulated escalating interest of clinicians and researchers in local anesthetics over the past decade. By interfering with the inflammatory cascade at different levels, local anesthetics attenuate the inflammation and this effect has been employed to treat some acute and chronic inflammatory diseases. The anti-inflammatory properties of local anesthetics may also play an important role in the effect of pain control. In this review, we discuss the effect of local anesthetics on inflammation and its molecular mechanism. It appears that by extending the exposure of local anesthetics to areas of inflammation, one may decrease the concentration of local anesthetics needed to possibly down-regulate the expression of Gq protein. This has interesting clinical implications for long-term use of local anesthetics as anti-inflammatory agents while using concentrations far below that which could cause toxic effects.
- Gq protein
- Local anesthetics