Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Ketamine (KET) is a commonly used anesthetic agent. However, several previous studies reported that KET leads to neuronal damage in neurodevelopmental stages and has neuroprotective effects. The present experimental study aimed to determine the undesirable histopathological effects of KET in the cerebral cortex, striatum, and hippocampus after recurrent KET administration in juvenile rats. Materials and methods: After ethical approval was obtained, 32 juvenile male Wistar Albino rats were randomized into four groups: 1 mg/kg serum saline intraperitoneally (i.p.), 5 mg/kg KET i.p., 20 mg/kg KET i.p., and 50 mg/kg KET i.p. KET was administered for three consecutive days at three-h intervals in three doses. Ten days after the last KET dose, the rats were sacrificed. Cerebral hemispheres were fixed. Hematoxylin and eosin stain was used for morphometric analysis. Hippocampi were evaluated by immunohistochemistry with anticleaved caspase-3 antibodies. Statistical analysis was conducted with SPSS 21 software using the ANOVA test and Bonferroni post hoc analysis method. Results: The experimental study findings revealed no difference between the groups' cell counts or sizes in cortical morphometry. No degenerative changes were observed in pyramidal and granular cells in the striatum. Mild gliosis was observed in the 20 mg/kg and 50 mg/kg KET administration groups. Immuno-histo-chemical analysis was conducted to determine apoptosis in the CA1 region of the hippocampus and revealed that caspase-3 positivity increased with the KET dose. However, there was no statistical difference between the groups. While it was lower than the control group in the 5 mg/kg KET group, it was similar to the control group in the 20 mg/kg KET group and higher in the 50 mg/kg KET group (p > 0.05). Conclusion: Repetitive KET exposure did not significantly affect juvenile cerebral morphology and apoptosis in hippocampal cells.


Brain injury, apoptosis, cleaved caspase-3, ketamine, juvenile rat

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