AIMS: The aim of this present study was to investigate the changes of peripheral sensory nerve excitability produced by propofol. MAIN METHODS: In a recently described in vitro model of rodent saphenous nerve we used the technique of threshold tracking (QTRAC®) to measure changes of axonal nerve excitability of Aβ-fibres caused by propofol. Concentrations of 10μMol, 100μMol and 1000μMol were tested. Latency, peak response, strength-duration time constant (τSD) and recovery cycle of the sensory neuronal action potential (SNAP) were recorded. KEY FINDINGS: Our results have shown that propofol decreases nerve excitability of rat primary sensory afferents in vitro. Latency increased with increasing concentrations (0μMol: 0.96±0.07ms; 1000μMol 1.10±0.06ms, P<0.01). Also, propofol prolonged the relative refractory period (0μMol: 1.79±1.13ms; 100μMol: 2.53±1.38ms, P<0.01), and reduced superexcitability (0 μMol: -14.0±4.0%; 100μMol: -9.5±5.5%) and subexcitability (0μMol: 7.5±1.2%; 1000μMol: 3.6±1.2) significantly during the recovery cycle (P<0.01). SIGNIFICANCE: Our results have shown that propofol decreases nerve excitability of primary sensory afferents. The technique of threshold tracking revealed that axonal voltage-gated ion channels are significantly affected by propofol and therefore might be at least partially responsible for earlier described analgesic effects.