Study Awarded Best Abstract by International Anesthesia Research Society

The study from the lab of Anatoly Martynyuk, Ph.D., titled “Neonatally sevoflurane-exposed and unexposed male rat cagemates affect each other’s neurodevelopmental phenotypes” has been accepted with the distinction of Kosaka Best Abstract Award Top Finalist for presentation at the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS) 2023 Annual Meeting. The Kosaka Top Finalists Awards are given to the top three abstracts in Clinical Research, Basic Science and Scholars. Co-authors on the abstract are doctoral student Ling-Sha Ju, M.D.; UF Department of Psychiatry professor Barry Setlow, Ph.D.; and UF Department of Anesthesiology faculty members Nikolaus Gravenstein, M.D., Anatoly Martynyuk, Ph.D., Tim Morey, M.D., Christoph Seubert, M.D., Ph.D., and Terrie Vasilopoulos, Ph.D.

Team members who were awarded best abstract

This study in rats was inspired by human twin studies that compared neurocognitive outcomes in twins, in which one twin member, both, or neither were exposed to general anesthesia. Human studies found that the exposed and unexposed members of a twin pair had an equally poor neurocognitive outcome and, therefore, concluded that pre-existing conditions rather than general anesthesia were the cause.

This rodent study found that cohabitated neonatally exposed to sevoflurane and unexposed rats can influence each other’s brain development, ameliorating some sevoflurane-induced deficits in exposed rats, and inducing some deficits in unexposed rats at gene expression, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response to stress and behavioral levels.  

The findings of this rodent study suggest an additional and/or alternative interpretation of the results of the human studies of twins discordant for early life anesthesia exposure. These findings may have broad implications for basic and clinical developmental neuroscience. For example, they suggest a new explanation why neurodevelopmental neuropsychiatric disorders are more likely to occur among siblings. They suggest an additional interpretation of contributions of genetic and environmental factors in outcomes of human epidemiological studies of monozygotic and dizygotic twins.

The team will present these findings at the IARS annual meeting in April in Denver, Co. Congratulations to all!