Social interaction deficit is core symptom of children with autism, owing to interaction of genetic predisposition and environmental toxins. Sevoflurane could induce neurotoxicity in developing brain in rodent models. This study aims to investigate whether sevoflurane anesthesia in neonatal period could impair social behaviors in male and female mice. Twenty-eight male and thirty-one female mice were randomly assigned to receive 3.0% sevoflurane or 60% oxygen on postnatal day 6. They were tested for social interaction behaviors at one- and two-month-old. In addition, the cortex and hippocampus of neonatal mice undergoing sevoflurane anesthesia were harvested for immunoblotting analysis. As a result, both male and female mice undergoing sevoflurane anesthesia showed strong sociability and weak preference for social novelty at juvenile age. In addition, the male mice developed normal preference for social novelty at early-adulthood; However, the female mice remained weak preference for social novelty. Furthurmore, sevoflurane anesthesia could decrease the levels of PSD95 but not Neuroligin-1 in the hippocampus but not cortex of neonatal mice. In conclusion, sevoflurane anesthesia in neonatal period could disturb development of social memory and impair preference for social novelty in female mice at early-adulthood, with the potential mechanism of decreasing PSD95 expression in the hippocampus of C57BL/6 mice.

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Huayue Liu et al.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications January 2022