Differential Effects of Sevoflurane Exposure on Long-Term Fear Memory in Neonatal and Adult Rats.
Feng Tao, Ph.D.
Li, C., Liu, S., Mei, Y., Wang, Q., Lu, X., Li, H. and Tao, F. (2022). “Differential Effects of Sevoflurane Exposure on Long-Term Fear Memory in Neonatal and Adult Rats.” Mol Neurobiol.
It remains unclear whether exposure to sevoflurane produces different effects on long-term cognitive function in developing and mature brains. In the present study, Sprague-Dawley neonatal rats at postnatal day (PND) 7 and adult rats (PND 56) were used in all experiments. We performed fear conditioning testing to examine long-term fear memory following 4-h sevoflurane exposure. We assessed hippocampal synapse ultrastructure with a transmission electron microscope. Moreover, we investigated the effect of sevoflurane exposure on the expression of postsynaptic protein 95 (PSD-95) and its binding protein kalirin-7 in the hippocampus. We observed that early exposure to sevoflurane in neonatal rats impairs hippocampus-dependent fear memory, reduces hippocampal synapse density, and dramatically decreases the expressions of PSD-95 and kalirin-7 in the hippocampus of the developing brain. However, sevoflurane exposure in adult rats has no effects on hippocampus-dependent fear memory and hippocampal synapse density, and the expressions of PSD-95 and kalirin-7 in the adult hippocampus are not significantly altered following sevoflurane treatment. Our results indicate that sevoflurane exposure produces differential effects on long-term fear memory in neonatal and adult rats and that PSD-95 signaling may be involved in the molecular mechanism for early sevoflurane exposure-caused long-term fear memory impairment.