Chronic Calcineurin Inhibition via Cyclosporine A Impairs Visuospatial Learning After Isoflurane Anesthesia.

A new interesting article has been published in Anesth Analg. 2019 May 9. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000004183. and titled:

Chronic Calcineurin Inhibition via Cyclosporine A Impairs Visuospatial Learning After Isoflurane Anesthesia.

Authors of this article are:

Speigel IA, Ma CM, Bichler EK, Gooch JL, García PS.

A summary of the article is shown below:

BACKGROUND: Clinical studies implicate the perioperative period in cognitive complications, and increasing experimental evidence shows that the anesthetic agents can affect neuronal processes that underpin learning and memory. Calcineurin, a Ca-dependent phosphatase critically involved in synaptic plasticity, is activated after isoflurane exposure, but its role in the neurological response to anesthesia is unclear.METHODS: We investigated the effect of chronic calcineurin inhibition on postanesthetic cognitive function. Mice were treated with 30 minutes of isoflurane anesthesia during a chronic cyclosporine A regimen. Behavioral end points during the perianesthesia period were quantified. Visuospatial learning was assessed with the water radial arm maze. Total and biotinylated surface protein expression of the α5β3γ2 γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) type A receptors was measured. Expression of the GABA synthesis enzyme glutamate decarboxylase (GAD)-67 was also measured.RESULTS: Mice treated with cyclosporine A before anesthesia showed significant deficits in visuospatial learning compared to sham and cyclosporine A-treated mice (n = 10 per group, P = .0152, Tukey post hoc test). Induction and emergence were unaltered by cyclosporine A. Analysis of hippocampal protein expression revealed an increased surface expression of the α5 GABA type A receptor subunit after isoflurane treatment (P = .019, Dunnett post hoc testing), as well as a decrease in GAD-67 expression. Cyclosporine A did not rescue either effect.CONCLUSIONS: Our results confirm the work of others that isoflurane induces changes to inhibitory network function and exclude calcineurin inhibition via cyclosporine A as an intervention. Further, our studies suggest that calcineurin mediates a protective role in the neurological response to anesthesia, and patients receiving cyclosporine A may be an at-risk group for memory problems related to anesthesia.

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