Brain molecular changes and behavioral alterations induced by propofol anesthesia exposure in peripubertal rats
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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Background: Propofol is commonly used in modern anesthesiology. Some findings suggest that it is highly addictive. Aim: In this study it was examined whether propofol anesthesia exposure was able to induce behavioral alterations and brain molecular changes already described in addictive drug usage in peripubertal rats, during the onset of mid/periadolescence as a developmental period with increasing vulnerability to drug addiction. Methods: The expression of D1 dopamine receptor, a dopamine, and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein with a Mr 32 000; Ca 2+ /calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIα; and Finkel-Biskis-Jinkins murine osteosarcoma viral oncogene homolog-B was examined in peripubertal rats 4, 24, and 48 hour after propofol anesthesia exposure by Western blot and immunohistochemistry. Brain regions of interest were the medial prefrontal cortex, the striatum, and the thalamus. Anxiety and behavioral cross-sensitization to d-amphetamine were examined as well. Results: Significant increase in the expression of dopamine and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein with a Mr 32 000 phosphorylated at threonine 34, a postsynaptic marker of dopaminergic neurotransmission, and Finkel-Biskis-Jinkins murine osteosarcoma viral oncogene homolog-B, a marker of neuronal activity, was detected in the thalamus of experimental animals 4-24 hour after the treatment, with the accent on the paraventricular thalamic nucleus. Significant increase in the expression of Ca 2+ /calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIα phosphorylated at threonine 286, a sensor of synaptic activity, was observed in the prefrontal cortex and the striatum 24 hour after propofol anesthesia exposure. It was accompanied by a significant decrease in Finkel-Biskis-Jinkins murine osteosarcoma viral oncogene homolog-B expression in the striatum. Decreased behavioral inhibition in aversive environment and increased motor response to d-amphetamine in a context-independent manner were observed as well. Conclusion: In peripubertal rats, propofol anesthesia exposure induces transient molecular and behavioral response that share similarities with those reported previously for addictive drugs. In the absence of additional pharmacological manipulation, all detected effects receded within 48 hour after the treatment.