Zhou X, Song FH, He W, Yang XY, Zhou ZB, Feng X, Zhou LH.
Mol Med Report. 2012 Sep;6(3):543-6. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2012.976. Epub 2012 Jul 2.


A growing number of studies have shown that commonly used anesthetic agents may cause neurohistopathological changes and persistent behavioral impairments in the developing brain. The effects of sevoflurane, a widely used substance in pediatric anesthesia, on the developing brain have not been thoroughly analyzed thus far. In this study, Sprague-Dawley rats at postnatal day (P)7 were exposed to 2.3% sevoflurane for 6 h continuously. Six hours after exposure, hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining was used to determine the morphological changes in the hippocampus. The expression levels of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) and caspase-3 in the hippocampus of the pups were determined by immunofluorescence. A single 6-h sevoflurane exposure at P7 caused morphological changes in the hippocampus. Sevoflurane also significantly increased the expression of cleaved caspase-3 and reduced the expression of the nNOS protein. These results indicate that neonatal exposure to sevoflurane causes neurohistopathological changes, apoptosis and decreases nNOS protein levels in the rat hippocampus.

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