To investigate the effect of multiple propofol anesthesia and operative trauma on neuroinflammation and cognitive function in development rats and its mechanism. A total of 104 13-day-old neonatal Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into 4 groups with 26 rats in each group: control group was treated with saline q.d for propofol group was treated with propofol q.d for surgery group received abdominal surgery under local anesthesia and then treated with saline q.d for surgery with propofol group received propofol anesthesia plus abdominal surgery under local anesthesia with ropivacaine at d1, then treated with propofol q.d for At d2 of experiment, 13 rats from each group were sacrificed and brain tissue samples were taken, the concentration of TNF-α in hippocampus was detected with ELISA, the expression of caspase-3 and c-fos in hippocampal tissue was determined with immunohistochemical method, the number of apoptotic neurons in hippocampus was examined with TUNEL assay. Morris water maze test was used to examine the cognitive function of the rest rats at the age of 60 d, and the TNF-α concentration, caspase-3, c-fos expressions and the number of apoptotic neurons in hippocampus were also detected. Compared with control group, TNF-α concentration, caspase-3, c-fos expression and the neuroapoptosis in hippocampus increased significantly in other three groups (all <0.05). Compared with surgery group, propofol group and surgery with propofol group showed increased TNF-α level, caspase-3 and c-fos expressions and apoptotic cell numbers (all <0.05), but there was no significant difference between last two groups (all >0.05). Morris water maze test showed that there were no significant differences in swimming speed, escape latency, target quadrant residence time and crossing times among groups (all >0.05). TNF-α level, expressions of caspase-3 and c-fos and apoptotic cell numbers in hippocampus had no significant differences among the 4 adult rats groups (all >0.05). Abdominal surgery and multiple propofol treatment can induce neuroinflammation and neuroapoptosis in hippocampus of neonatal rats, however, which may not cause adverse effects on neurodevelopment and cognitive function when they grown up.

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