Assessments of prolonged effects of desflurane and sevoflurane on motor learning deficits in aged AppNL-G-F/NL-G-F mice

Mol Brain. 2022 Apr 7;15(1):32. doi: 10.1186/s13041-022-00910-1.


As the proportion of elderly in society increases, so do the number of older patients undergoing surgical procedures. This is concerning as exposure to anesthesia has been identified as a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the causal relationship between clinical AD development and anesthesia remains conjectural. Preclinical studies have demonstrated that anesthesia, such as halothane, isoflurane, and sevoflurane, induces AD-like pathophysiological changes and cognitive impairments in transgenic mouse models of AD. Desflurane does not have these effects and is expected to have more potential for use in elderly patients, yet little is known about its effects, especially on non-cognitive functions, such as motor and emotional functions. Thus, we examined the postanesthetic effects of desflurane and sevoflurane on motor and emotional function in aged AppNL-G-F/NL-G-F (App-KI) mice. This is a recently developed transgenic mouse model of AD exhibiting amyloid β peptide (Aβ) amyloidosis and a neuroinflammatory response in an age-dependent manner without non-physiological amyloid precursor protein (APP) overexpression. Mice were subjected to a short behavioral test battery consisting of an elevated plus maze, a balance beam test, and a tail suspension test seven days after exposure to 8.0% desflurane for 6 h or 2.8% sevoflurane for 2 h. App-KI mice showed significant increments in the percentage of entry and time spent in open arms in the elevated plus maze, increments in the number of slips and latency to traverse for the balance beam test, increments in the limb clasping score, increments in immobile duration, and decrements in latency to first immobile episode for the tail suspension test compared to age-matched wild type (WT) controls. Desflurane- and sevoflurane-exposed App-KI mice showed a delayed decrement in the number of slips for each trial in the balance beam test, while air-treated App-KI mice rapidly improved their performance, and increased their clasping behavior in the tail suspension test. Furthermore, App-KI inhibited the change in membrane GluA3 following exposure to anesthetics in the cerebellum. These results suggest high validity of App-KI mice as an animal model of AD.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; AppNL−G−F/NL−G−F; Behavioral phenotype; General anesthesia; Postanesthetic effects; Transgenic mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease* / complications
  • Alzheimer Disease* / metabolism
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides* / metabolism
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Desflurane
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Sevoflurane / pharmacology


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
  • Sevoflurane
  • Desflurane