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The Role of Microglial Cells in Anesthesia-Induced Developmental Neurotoxicity

Project Description

Countless basic science studies have shown that animals exposed to anesthesia during early development exhibit long-term changes in both behavior and cognition, a process known as anesthesia-induced developmental neurotoxicity.  In addition to clinical research investigating the effects of anesthesia on children, basic research focused on identifying the mechanisms behind anesthesia-induced neurotoxicity are necessary for patient safety.  Microglia are the immune cells of the brain, but during early development they are also important for promoting and supporting neurons to ensure normal brain development.  No prior studies have directly investigated the effect of anesthesia on microglia.  Therefore, we utilize sevoflurane, a common anesthetic used in children, and study its effect on microglial development in a neonatal animal model.  Utilizing advanced techniques in immunology and microscopy, we characterize microglial morphology and function after anesthesia and evaluate for microglial-dependent mechanisms of anesthesia-induced developmental neurotoxicity.

Area of Study

Developmental Neuroscience, Brain and Behavior - child




Animal Models; Behavioral; Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, and Genetics; Light Microscopy; Neuroimaging

Disease or Symptom

Mental Illness and Developmental Disabilities; Neurological Illness



Mentor Location

RC 1 South, Rm 4101

Mentor Contact Number


Mentor Email



Mentor Name

Zanghi, Christine

Funding Department/Program




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Upload Date

5/25/2016 14:18


Created at 5/25/2016 4:04 PM by Ross, Randy
Last modified at 8/4/2018 3:44 PM by Hom, Patrick H