Clinical trials and animal studies have indicated that long-term use or multiple administrations of anesthesia may lead to fine motor impairment in the developing brain. Most studies on anesthesia-induced neurotoxicity have focused on the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC); however, the role of other vital encephalic regions, such as the amygdala, is still unclear. Herein, we focused on sevoflurane, the most commonly used volatile anesthetic in infants, and performed a transcriptional analysis of the PFC and amygdala of macaques after multiple exposures to the anesthetic by RNA sequencing. The overall, overlapping, and encephalic region-specific transcriptional patterns were separately analyzed to reveal their functions and differentially expressed gene sets that were influenced by sevoflurane. Specifically, functional, protein-protein interaction, neighbor gene network, and gene set enrichment analyses were performed. Further, we built the basic molecular feature of the amygdala by comparing it to the PFC. In comparison with the amygdala’s changing pattern following sevoflurane exposure, functional annotations of the PFC were more enriched in glial cell-related biological functions than in neuron and synapsis development. Taken together, transcriptional studies and bioinformatics analyses allow for an improved understanding of the primate PFC and amygdala.

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Yanyong Cheng, Siyu Liu, Lei Zhang, and Hong Jiang.
Frontiers in integrative neuroscience July 2022