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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Nefiracetam prevents propofol-induced anterograde and retrograde amnesia in the rodent without compromising quality of anesthesia.

BACKGROUND: Propofol is a short-acting intravenous anesthetic agent. However, cognitive function remains depressed for several hours thereafter. We have evaluated the ability of nefiracetam, a novel cognition-enhancing agent, to alleviate propofol-induced amnesia in a rodent model of learning. METHODS: Rats were trained in a one-trial, step-through, light-dark passive avoidance paradigm. Propofol (10 and 75 mg/kg) was administered by the intraperitoneal route at 15 min before training and separately at increasing times in the immediate 0-6 h post-training period (100 and 150 mg/kg). Nefiracetam, 9 mg/kg, was administered by the intraperitoneal route 1 h before training. Animals were tested for recall at the 12 h post-training time, and after their killing, immunocytochemistry was used to determine the increase in hippocampal neuronal polysialylation, an event associated with memory consolidation. Induction and duration of anesthesia induced by propofol was determined using tail pinch and pedal withdrawal reflexes. RESULTS: Propofol-induced anterograde amnesia occurred in a dose-dependent manner. Induction of retrograde amnesia required a higher dose of propofol, which anesthetized the animals and was effective only in the immediate 3-h post-training period. In the absence of any evident effect on the onset or duration of anesthesia, nefiracetam prevented both forms of propofol-induced amnesia and preserved the learning-associated changes of neuronal polysialylation state. CONCLUSIONS: The ability of nefiracetam to prevent propofol-induced anterograde and retrograde amnesia is proposed to be indirect and to result from modulation of gene transcription in a manner that initiates a cascade of events involving protein synthesis leading to synaptic growth associated with the formation of the long-term memory trace.[1]


  1. Nefiracetam prevents propofol-induced anterograde and retrograde amnesia in the rodent without compromising quality of anesthesia. O'Gorman, D.A., O'Connell, A.W., Murphy, K.J., Moriarty, D.C., Shiotani, T., Regan, C.M. Anesthesiology (1998) [Pubmed]
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