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Title: The Effects of General Anesthetics on Neuron Structure and Function
Author: Armstrong, Ryden J
Advisor: Syed, Naweed Imam
Keywords: Neuroscience;Medicine and Surgery
Abstract: Recent studies have implicated general anesthetic exposure to long-lasting cognitive impairments in children. However, the mechanisms that underlie anesthetic toxicity remain controversial. Here, I used an in vitro primary neuron culture to determine the effects of two volatile general anesthetics – sevoflurane and desflurane – on neuron development. To this end, I first quantified how general anesthetics affect neuron structural development. I show that sevoflurane and desflurane impair neurite growth, neuron polarization, and mitochondrial morphology. Next, I determined the functional impact of general anesthetics on neuronal synaptogenesis and spontaneous synaptic activity. I demonstrate that both sevoflurane and desflurane impair synaptogenesis and spontaneous synaptic current frequency. Finally, I examined a promising mitochondrial protective compound – Mdivi-1 – and found it to reverse many of the noxious effects of sevoflurane and desflurane. These results show, for the first time, several subcellular impacts of sevoflurane and desflurane, which may underlie the learning and memory deficits seen clinically.
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