Experimental studies have demonstrated that general anesthetics administered during the period of synaptogenesis may induce widespread neurodegeneration, which results in permanent cognitive and behavioral deficits. What remains to be elucidated is the extent of the potential influence of the commonly used hypnotics on comorbidities including epilepsy, which may have resulted from increased neurodegeneration during synaptogenesis. This study aimed to test the hypothesis that neuropathological changes induced by anesthetics during synaptogenesis may lead to changes in the seizure threshold during adulthood. Wistar rat pups were treated with propofol, sevoflurane, or saline on the sixth postnatal day. The long-term effects of prolonged propofol and sevoflurane anesthesia on epileptogenesis were assessed using corneal kindling, pilocarpine-, and pentylenetetrazole-induced seizure models in adult animals. Body weight gain was measured throughout the experiment. No changes in the seizure threshold were observed in the three models. A significant weight gain after exposure to anesthetics during synaptogenesis was observed in the propofol group but not in the sevoflurane group. The results suggest that single prolonged exposure to sevoflurane or propofol during synaptogenesis may have no undesirable effects on epileptogenesis in adulthood.
Paweł Piwowarczyk et al.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health November 2021