Volume 28, Issue. 5, October, 2012

Sevoflurane exposure in 7-day-old rats affects neurogenesis, neurodegeneration and neurocognitive function

Fang Fang, Zhanggang Xue, Jing Cang

Department of Anesthesiology, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China


Objective Sevoflurane is widely used in pediatric anesthesia and former studies showed that it causes neurodegeneration in the developing brain. The present study was carried out to investigate the effects of sevoflurane on neurogenesis, neurodegeneration and behavior. Methods We administered 5-bromodeoxyuridine, an S-phase marker, before, during, and after 4 h of sevoflurane given to rats on postnatal day 7 to assess dentate gyrus progenitor proliferation and Fluoro-Jade staining for degeneration. Spatial reference memory was tested 2 and 6 weeks after anesthesia. Results Sevoflurane decreased progenitor proliferation and increased cell death until at least 4 days after anesthesia. Spatial reference memory was not affected at 2 weeks but was affected at 6 weeks after sevoflurane administration. Conclusion Sevoflurane reduces neurogenesis and increases the death of progenitor cells in developing brain. This might mediate the late-onset neurocognitive outcome after sevoflurane application.


sevoflurane; neurogenesis; progenitor; proliferation; degeneration


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