Melatonin pretreatment prevents isoflurane-induced cognitive dysfunction by modulating sleep-wake rhythm in mice

  • Xia T
  • Cui Y
  • Chu S
 et al. 
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Background Sleep plays an important role in memory processing. However, its role in anesthesia-induced cognitive dysfunction was not revealed. Our study sought to investigate the connection between the cognition decline and sleep-wake rhythm disorders after long-term isoflurane anesthesia in mice. Also, we examined the effect of exogenous melatonin pretreatment on both cognitive function and circadian rhythm. Furthermore, we discussed whether NR2B (N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor 2B subunit)-CREB (cAMP-response element binding protein) signaling pathway was involved in this course. Methods 2-month-old male C57/BL-6J mice were submitted to long-term anesthesia using 1% isoflurane from CT (Circadian Time) 14 to CT20. Melatonin pretreatment were conducted before anesthesia for 7 Days. Intellicage for mice and Mini-Mitter were applied to monitor spatial memory and gross motor activity which can reflect cognition and sleep-wake rhythm. Messenger RNA and protein expression of right hippocampus NR2B and CREB were examined by RT-PCR and Western blot. Results 6 h isoflurane anesthesia led to impaired spatial memory from Day 3 to Day 10 in mice accompanied by the disruption of sleep-wake rhythm. Meanwhile, the hippocampus CREB and NR2B expression declined in step. Melatonin pretreatment ameliorated disturbed sleep-wake cycle, improved isoflurane-induced cognitive dysfunction, and reversed the down-regulation of CREB and NR2B expression. Conclusions Our data demonstrate that sleep-wake rhythm is involved in the isoflurane-induced cognition impairment and pretreatment of melatonin has a positive effect on circadian normalization and cognition reversal. Also, NR2B-CREB signaling pathway has a critical role in this process. This study provides us a new strategy for anesthesia-induced cognitive dysfunction therapy.

Author-supplied keywords

  • CREB
  • Cognitive
  • Isoflurane
  • Melatonin
  • NR2B
  • Sleep-wake rhythm

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