Various lines of evidence suggest that neonatal exposure to general anesthetics, especially repeatedly, results in neuropathological brain changes and long-term cognitive impairment. Although progress has been made in experimental models, the exact mechanism of GA-induced neurotoxicity in the developing brain remains to be clarified. Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) plays an important role in synaptic plasticity and cognitive performance, and its abnormal reduction is associated with cognitive dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases. However, the role of SIRT1 in GA-induced neurotoxicity is unclear to date. In this study, we found that the protein level of SIRT1 was inhibited in the hippocampi of developing mice exposed to sevoflurane. Furthermore, the SIRT1 inhibition in hippocampi was associated with brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) downregulation modulated by methyl-cytosine-phosphate-guanine–binding protein 2 (MeCP2) and cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB). Pretreatment of neonatal mice with resveratrol nearly reversed the reduction in hippocampal SIRT1 expression, which increased the expression of BDNF in developing mice exposed to sevoflurane. Moreover, changes in the levels of CREB and MeCP2, which were considered to interact with BDNF promoter IV, were also rescued by resveratrol. Furthermore, resveratrol improved the cognitive performance in the Morris water maze test of the adult mice with exposure to sevoflurane in the neonatal stage, without changing motor function in the open field test. Taken together, our findings suggested that SIRT1 deficiency regulated BDNF signaling via regulation of the epigenetic activity of MeCP2 and CREB, and resveratrol might be a promising agent for mitigating sevoflurane-induced neurotoxicity in developing mice.

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