Application of ketamine (10(−4)-10(−3)mol l-1) to locust retractor unguis muscle produced a reversible, dose-dependent reduction in neurally evoked twitches, and blocked agonist-induced contractions. With increasing ketamine concentration (5 × 10(−5)-10(−3) mol l-1), the amplitude of glutamate potentials was reduced and dose-response curves for ionophoresis of L-glutamate were shifted to the right, particularly after concanavalin A treatment. Ketamine (10(−4) mol l-1) enhanced the rate of desensitization to consecutive pulses of L-glutamate and this action was eliminated by concanavalin A. The amplitude of the excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC) was reduced by ketamine (10(−5)-5 × 10(−4) mol l-1) in a dose-dependent manner but without a concomitant reduction in EPSC rise time. The decay phase of the EPSC was usually biphasic in the presence of ketamine (greater than 5 × 10(−5) mol l-1) but did not exhibit any voltage dependence. It is concluded that ketamine enhances desensitization and blocks the channel, particularly the closed form.

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