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Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2013 Jan;238(1):84-9. doi: 10.1258/ebm.2012.012261.

Blood gases and energy metabolites in mouse blood before and after cerebral ischemia: the effects of anesthetics.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Frankfurt College of Pharmacy, Max-von-Laue-Str. 9, 60438 Frankfurt, Germany.


The levels of blood gases and energy metabolites strongly influence the outcome of animal experiments, for example in experimental stroke research. While mice have become prominent animal models for cerebral ischemia, little information is available on the effects of anesthetic drugs on blood parameters such as blood gases, glucose and lactate in this species. In this work, we collected arterial and venous blood samples from female CD-1 mice before and after cerebral ischemia induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO), and we tested the influence of different anesthetic drugs. We found that all of the injectable anesthetics tested (ketamine/xylazine, chloral hydrate, propofol and pentobarbital) caused a decrease in blood pH and partial pressure of oxygen (pO2) and an increase of partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2), indicating respiratory depression. This was not observed with inhalable anesthetics such as isoflurane, sevoflurane and halothane. Significant and up to two-fold increases of blood glucose concentration were observed under isoflurane, halothane, ketamine/xylazine, chloral hydrate, and propofol anesthesia. Lactate concentration rose significantly by 2-3-fold during inhalation of isoflurane and halothane treatment, but decreased by more than 50% after administration of pentobarbital. Permanent cerebral ischemia induced respiratory acidosis (low pH and pO2, high pCO2) which was most prominent after 24 h. Postsurgical treatment with Ringer-lactate solution (1 mL, intraperitoneal) caused a recovery of blood gases to basal levels after 24 h. Use of isoflurane for surgery caused a minor increase of blood glucose concentrations after one hour, but a strong increase of blood lactate. In contrast, anesthesia with pentobarbital did not affect glucose concentration but strongly reduced blood lactate concentrations one hour after surgery. All values recovered at three hours after MCAO. In conclusion, anesthetic drugs have a strong influence on murine blood parameters, which should be taken into account in experiments in mice.

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