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Suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) alleviates the learning and memory impairment in rat offspring caused by maternal sevoflurane exposure during late gestation

Qi Yu, Namin Feng, Yan Hu, Foquan Luo, Weihong Zhao, Weilu Zhao, Zhiyi Liu, Mengyuan Li, Lin Xu, Liuqing Wu, Yulin Liu
Journal of Toxicological Sciences 2019, 44 (3): 177-189
Recent studies have shown that sevoflurane can cause long-term neurotoxicity and learning and memory impairment in developing and progressively neurodegenerative brains. Sevoflurane is a widely used volatile anesthetic in clinical practice. Late gestation is a rapidly developing period in the fetal brain, but whether sevoflurane anesthesia during late gestation affects learning and memory of offspring is not fully elucidated. Histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2) plays an important regulatory role in learning and memory. This study examined the effect of maternal sevoflurane exposure on learning and memory in offspring and the underlying role of HDAC2. The Morris water maze (MWM) test was used to evaluate learning and memory function. Q-PCR and immunofluorescence staining were used to measure the expression levels of genes related to learning and memory. The results showed that sevoflurane anesthesia during late gestation impaired learning and memory in offspring rats (e.g., showing increase of the escape latency and decrease of the platform-crossing times and target quadrant traveling time in behavior tests) and upregulated the expression of HDAC2, while downregulating the expression of the cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) response element binding protein (CREB) and the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor 2 subunit B (NR2B) mRNA and protein in the hippocampus of offspring in a time-dependent manner. HDAC2 inhibitor suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) treatment alleviated all of these changes in offspring rats. Therefore, the present study indicates that sevoflurane exposure during late gestation impairs offspring rat's learning and memory via upregulation of the expression of HDAC2 and downregulation of the expression of CREB and NR2B. SAHA can alleviate these impairments.


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