Learning and memory are cognitive functions commonly impaired after surgery, especially in elderly patients. Our aim was to evaluate the effect of sevoflurane anaesthesia on episodic-like memory in young and aged wild-type mice and mice with altered nicotinic cholinergic neurotransmission (β2KO). Mice learned objects before randomization to control, anaesthesia or sham groups. Anaesthesia was maintained at 2.6% sevoflurane for 2 h, starting immediately after training. Object memory testing was performed after 24 h, when one familiar object was replaced by a nonfamiliar object. While nonanaesthetized mice showed memory retention of the familiar object, anaesthetized wild-type and β2KO mice showed impaired memory. Sevoflurane anaesthesia thus causes memory impairment in mice regardless of β2 receptor-mediated nicotinic cholinergic neurotransmission.
aDepartment of Anaesthesiology, Surgical Services and Intensive Care Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital
bDepartment of Physiology and Pharmacology, Section for Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
cUnité de Neurobiologie Intégrative du Système Cholinergique
dUnité de Récepteurs et Cognition, Département de Neuroscience, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
Correspondence to Andreas Wiklund, MD, Department of Anaesthesiology, Surgical Services and Intensive Care Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital, 171 76 Stockholm, Sweden
Tel: +46 8 51779199; fax: +46 8 5177085; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
This study should be attributed to the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Section for Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm and to the Department of Anaesthesia, Surgical Services and Intensive Care Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm Sweden.
Received 8 July 2009 accepted 12 July 2009