Ketamine, a phencyclidine derivative and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, is widely used as an anesthetic, analgesic, and sedative agent in daily pediatric practice. Experimental studies have suggested that early prenatal or postnatal exposure to ketamine can induce neuroapoptosis, and establish neurobehavioral deficits that are evident in adulthood. However, most of the currently available clinical evidence is derived from retrospective and observational clinical studies. We, herein, attempt a brief review of the cellular and molecular mechanisms suggested to mediate ketamine-induced developmental neurotoxicity, utilizing a selected number of recent in vivo experimental evidence.


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