Ketamine is one of general anesthetics and has been commonly used in obstetric and pediatric anesthesia. However, effects of exposure to ketamine on neonatal brain are largely unknown. In this study, we aim to investigate the effect of neonatal exposure of ketamine on spatial memory and long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampus of adult rats. One-week-old neonatal rats were separated into ketamine group and control group. Neonatal rats in ketamine group were received intraperitoneal injection of 25 mg/kg (low-dose group, N = 8) or 50 mg/kg ketamine (high-dose group, N = 8). Neonatal Rats in control group received saline injection (N = 8). After 10 weeks, the spatial memory of adult rats was examined by using Morris Water Maze, and LTP in the hippocampus of adult rats was assessed by electrophysiological experiment. We found that exposure of ketamine to neonatal rats, either low-dose or high-dose, had not induced alteration on their adulthood’s escape latency, swimming speed and the percentage of time spent in original quadrant compared with the control. The electrophysiological examination showed that the induction of LTP in hippocampus was significantly reduced in adult rats of ketamine group (either low-dose or high-dose). Our study showed that neonatal exposure of ketamine inhibited the induction of hippocampal LTP without impairing the spatial memory of adult rats.

Read More