Electron spin resonance and spin label techniques have been employed to study the effects of local anaesthetic drugs, procaine and tetracaine, on human erythrocyte membrane. Both the drugs altered the protein and lipid arrangements in the membrane and these changes were reversible. Procaine had greater effect on the labels attached to proteins while tetracaine fluidized interior of lipid bilayer to a greater extent. The differential effects of these drugs on the protein and lipid labels have been interpreted in terms of their relative penetrability in the membrane. Present results have explained that radiation induced enhanced killing of cells in the presence of these drugs might be due to the alterations in membrane, particularly proteins both structural and enzymatic. In addition, these results indicate a possible relationship between drug-induced structural changes in membrane and their anaesthetic potency.
Mishra, K P 
- Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Bombay (India). Biology and Agriculture Div.