Exposure of CD-1 mice to subanesthetic partial pressures of N2O (0.5 atm) or N2 (10–20 atm) for periods up to 14 days results in up to 40% decreases in the mean threshold pressure eliciting type I high-pressure neurological syndrome (HPNS) seizures, and in increases up to 38% in the N2 partial pressure producing anesthesia. For all combinations of preexposure time, N2 partial pressure, as well as identity of the conditioning gas the relations between the convulsion threshold pressure (Pc) and the anesthesia N2 pressure (Pa) appear to be uniquely correlated by the equation Pa = 54.5 –0.2(Pc - 60)1.2. The potency of N2O with respect to these habituation phenomena is between 28 and 33 times higher than that of N2, depending on the aspects compared. Evidence is presented indicating that after 14 days of habituation the animals have attained between 75 and 85% compensation for the anesthetic as well as the anticonvulsant effects of the conditioning gas. The bearing of the results on the problem of the nature of the antagonism between inert gas narcotic agents and high pressure and on the hypothesis that habituation tends toward restoration of isofluidity (or some analogous normalization process) are discussed.
- Copyright © 1987 the American Physiological Society