Date: 16 Dec 2011

Isoflurane enhances the expression of cytochrome C by facilitation of NMDA receptor in developing rat hippocampal neurons in vitro

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This study examined the effects of clinically relevant concentrations of isoflurane on the amplitude of NMDA receptor current (INMDA) and the expression of cytochrome C in cultured developing rat hippocampal neurons. The hippocampi were dissected from newborn Sprague-Dawley rats. Hippocampal neurons were primarily cultured for 5 days and then treated with different concentrations of isoflurane [(0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1 minimum alveolar concentration (MAC))]. The peak of INMDA was recorded by means of the whole cell patch clamp technique. The cytochrome C level was detected by Western blotting and quantitative real-time PCR. Our results showed that isoflurane (0.25, 0.5, 0.75 and 1 MAC) potentiated the amplitude of INMDA by (116±8.8)%, (122±11.7)%, (135±14.3)% and (132±14.6)%, respectively, and isoflurane increased the mRNA expression of cytochrome C in a concentration-dependent manner. The cytochrome C mRNA expression reached a maximum after 0.5 MAC isoflurane stimulation for 6 h (P<0.05). It was concluded that isoflurane enhances the expression of cytochrome C in cultured rat hippocampal neurons, which may be mediated by facilitation of NMDA receptor.

This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 30772086; No. 30901390).