Skip navigation

Dendritic spine remodeling and plasticity under general anaesthesia

Dendritic spine remodeling and plasticity under general anaesthesia

Granak, Simon, Hoschl, Cyril and Ovsepian, Saak V. (2021) Dendritic spine remodeling and plasticity under general anaesthesia. Brain Structure and Function, 226. pp. 2001-2017. ISSN 1863-2653 (Print), 1863-2661 (Online) (doi:

PDF (Author's Accepted Manuscript)
34379_Ovsepian_Dendritic_spine_remodeling.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (1MB) | Preview


Ever since its first use in surgery, general anesthesia has been regarded as a medical miracle enabling countless life-saving diagnostic and therapeutic interventions without pain sensation and traumatic memories. Despite several decades of research, there is a lack of understanding of how general anesthetics induce a reversible coma-like state. Emerging evidence suggests that even brief exposure to general anesthesia may have a lasting impact on mature and especially developing brains. Commonly used anesthetics have been shown to destabilize dendritic spines and induce an enhanced plasticity state, with effects on cognition, motor functions, mood, and social behavior. Herein, we review the effects of the most widely used general anesthetics on dendritic spine dynamics and discuss functional and molecular correlates with action mechanisms. We consider the impact of neurodevelopment, anatomical location of neurons, and their neurochemical profile on neuroplasticity induction, and review the putative signaling pathways. It emerges that in addition to possible adverse effects, the stimulation of synaptic remodeling with the formation of new connections by general anesthetics may present tremendous opportunities for translational research and neurorehabilitation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: neuroplasticity; general anesthesia; dendritic spine dynamics; coflin; actin cytoskeleton; depression
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > School of Science (SCI)
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2022 01:38

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics