Cognitive dysfunction induced by anesthesia in the infant is a crucial clinical issue that is still being debated and the focus of concern for the parents. However, the mechanism of cognitive decline caused by anesthesia and the corresponding treatment methods remain unclear. Postnatal day 7 (PND7) C57BL/6 mice included in the study were randomly divided into a control group (Control), a group with repeated exposure to sevoflurane (Sevo), and an Apamin intervention group (Sevo + Apamin). Apamin (0.5 μL at the concentration of 100 nmol/L) was injected into the bilateral hippocampus of mice. qRT-PCR, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and western blotting assay were used to evaluate the protein levels in the hippocampus. Object location memory (OLM) and novel object recognition (NOR) tasks, as well as elevated plus maze and contextual and cued fear conditioning tasks were used to evaluate the cognitive function of mice. Apamin mitigated sevoflurane-induced cognitive impairment of mice, sevoflurane-induced neuronal injury, and sevoflurane-induced activation of microglial in the hippocampus of the mice. Apamin inhibited M1-type polarization but promoted M2-type polarization of microglia after neonatal sevoflurane exposures in the hippocampus. In conclusion, Apamin attenuates neonatal sevoflurane exposures that cause cognitive deficits in mice through regulating hippocampal neuroinflammation.

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Heying Zhong, Xiaojuan Ran, Bin Chen, Yiqiang Xiong, & Xiangdi Yu.
ACS Chemical Neuroscience September 2023