November 25, 2020

A novel synthetic peptide provides neuroprotection and rescues rat cortical neurons from anesthetic-induced cell death and modulation of growth and synaptic assembly

Anesthetics, although necessary for many modern procedures, exert neurotoxic effects in various experimental models; the underlying mechanisms, however, remain unknown. In the absence of this information, any in vivo mitigation strategy would be challenging. To help address these gaps, we sought to determine whether preserving mitochondrial network integrity with a non-toxic, short-life synthetic peptide, P110, could protect cortical neurons against both inhalational and intravenous anesthetic-induced neurotoxicity.

This study provides the first direct comparative account of three key general anesthetics (desflurane, propofol, and ketamine) under identical conditions and demonstrates their impact on cellular viability, neurite outgrowth, and synaptic network assembly on neonatal rat cortical neurons. Further, we discovered that the inhibition of Fis1 receptor-mediated fission reverses anesthetic-induced aberrations in an agent-specific manner.

Our data thus underscore the importance of a reductionist approach, offering unique opportunities to explore non-toxic, mitochondria-based therapeutic tools for mitigating anesthetic-induced harm to the developing brain.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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