Martynyuk Laboratory: Neurosciences in Anesthesiology

Martynyuk Lab Personnel 2018

Dr. Anatoly Martynyuk

Anatoly Martynyuk, PhD, DSc

Professor of Anesthesiology and Neuroscience
Member of the McKnight Brain Institute

Lab: MSB 526
Office: MSB 526F

(352) 294-8344



Our Current & Long-Term Goals

  • Our studies, funded by the NIH, are focused on investigating the mechanisms of developmental, sex-dependent neurobehavioral and neuroendocrine effects of neonatal exposure to general anesthetic agents in rodents.

  • Our long-term goal is to develop translational strategies to study and mitigate adverse, sex-dependent developmental effects of neonatal anesthesia in humans.

Our Strategy

Rodents become largely resistant to the side effects of general anesthetics by the end of the second postnatal week. The existence of a vulnerable period suggests that anesthetics induce developmental abnormalities by affecting mechanisms specific to this period.

We test the hypothesis that anesthetic-enhanced, GABAAR-mediated depolarization/excitation may be one of the initial steps in anesthetic-induced, long-term, sex-dependent neuroendocrine and behavioral abnormalities.

Our Techniques

We employ a wide spectrum of techniques from molecular biology and patch-clamp electrophysiology to different behavioral paradigms in rodents.

Our Findings

The results of our studies provide evidence that GABAergic anesthetics, when administered to neonatal rats, induce gender-dependent (more prominent in males) endocrine and neurobehavioral abnormalities reminiscent of those induced by neonatal stress.

Mild environmental stressors may exacerbate/unmask developmental abnormalities initiated by a relatively short exposure to GABAergic anesthetics; GABAergic anesthetics may impair resilience to adverse life events.

The cumulative effect of early life anesthesia and subsequent environmental stressors results in persistently impaired inhibitory action of major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain GABA, an alteration known to contribute to neurocognitive psychiatric disorders including autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia.

Our most recent findings provide the first experimental evidence that neonatal exposure to sevoflurane may also affect the next generation of males through epigenetic modification of Kcc2 expression, while F1 females may be at a diminished risk (see Examples Part 5).

Examples of our findings can be seen by clicking on the following hyperlinks:

Our Current Team

  • Ling-sha Ju, MD…………postdoctoral associate
  • Ning Xu, MD……………..postdoctoral associate
  • Yunan Lin, MD…………visiting scholar
  • Lei Lei, MD……………….visiting scholar
  • Yuan Yi, MD…………….visiting scholar

Faculty Involved in Our Research

  • Nikolaus Gravenstein, MD……………..professor, anesthesiology
  • Tim Morey, MD……………………………..professor, anesthesiology
  • Christoph Seubert, MD, PhD………….professor, anesthesiology

Our Collaborators

  • Jim Resnick, PhD, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Florida
  • Barry Setlow, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Florida
  • Paul Cooke, PhD, Department of Physiological Sciences, University of Florida
  • Jian-Jun Yang, MD, PhD, Department of Anesthesiology, Zhongda Hospital, Southeast University, Nanjing, China
  • Jia-Qiang Zhang , MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Henan Provincial People’s Hospital, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, China

Join the Team!

We welcome undergraduate and graduate students, residents, and faculty who would like to contribute to our research.