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Br J Anaesth. 2018 Apr;120(4):761-767. doi: 10.1016/j.bja.2018.01.014. Epub 2018 Mar 1.

Persistent alteration in behavioural reactivity to a mild social stressor in rhesus monkeys repeatedly exposed to sevoflurane in infancy.

Author information

1
Division of Developmental and Cognitive Neuroscience, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Atlanta, GA, USA. Electronic address: jraper@emory.edu.
2
Department of Neuroscience, Friedman Brain Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA; Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.
3
Comparative Biology Centre, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK.
4
Division of Developmental and Cognitive Neuroscience, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Socio-emotional development is the expression and management of emotions, which in non-human primates can be examined using responses toward increasing levels of threat. Damage to the limbic system alters socio-emotional development in primates. Thus, neuronal and glial cell loss caused by exposure to general anaesthesia early in infancy might also impact socio-emotional development. We recently reported that repeated sevoflurane exposure in the first month of life alters emotional behaviours at 6 months of age and impairs visual recognition memory after the first year of life in rhesus monkeys. The present study evaluated socio-emotional behaviour at 1 and 2 yr of age in those same monkeys to determine the persistence of altered emotional behaviour.

METHODS:

Rhesus monkeys of both sexes were exposed to sevoflurane anaesthesia three times for 4 h each time in the first 6 weeks of life. At 1 and 2 yr of age, they were tested on the human intruder task, a well-established mild acute social stressor.

RESULTS:

Monkeys exposed to sevoflurane as infants exhibited normal fear and hostile responses, but exaggerated self-directed (displacement) behaviours, a general indicator of stress and anxiety in non-human primates.

CONCLUSIONS:

Early repeated sevoflurane exposure in infant non-human primates results in an anxious phenotype that was first detected at 6 months, and persists for at least 2 yr of age. This is the first demonstration of such a prolonged impact of early anaesthesia exposure on emotional reactivity.

KEYWORDS:

anaesthetic neurotoxicity; cognitive development; general anaesthesia

PMID:
29576116
PMCID:
PMC6200105
DOI:
10.1016/j.bja.2018.01.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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