Anesthesia and analgesia

Sevoflurane exposure prevents diaphragmatic oxidative stress during mechanical ventilation but reduces force and affects protein metabolism even during spontaneous breathing in a rat model.

PMID 25851179


Ventilator-induced diaphragmatic dysfunction is associated with the generation of oxidative stress, enhanced proteolysis, autophagy and reduced protein synthesis in the diaphragm. Sevoflurane is a common operating room anesthetic and can be used in the intensive care medicine as well. Besides its anesthetic properties, its use in cardiac ischemia-reperfusion models can maintain protein synthesis and inhibit generation of reactive oxygen species, if used at the beginning of heart surgery. This study has been performed on the hypothesis that sevoflurane might protect against ventilator-induced diaphragmatic dysfunction by preventing the production of oxidative stress. Four-month-old, male Sprague-Dawley rats sedated with sevoflurane (minimal alveolar concentration = 1) were either mechanically ventilated (MV) for 12 hours (n = 8) or allowed to breathe spontaneously (SB) for 12 hours (n = 8). An acutely anesthetized group was used as a control (Con) group (n = 8). After euthanization, diaphragmatic contractile properties, fiber cross-sectional areas, proteolysis (calpain-1 and caspase-3), and oxidative stress (lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation) were examined. After testing for normality, 1-way or 2-way analysis of variance with the Dunnett post hoc test was used to test for significance. The diaphragm contractile force was similarly reduced at all stimulation frequencies in the SB and MV groups compared with controls. Markers of oxidative stress and fiber cross-sectional areas were unaltered between Con and SB/MV, respectively. The calcium-dependent proteases (calpain-1 and caspase-3) were enhanced in the MV group. The p-AKT/AKT ratio and p-FoxO1/FoxO1 ratio were significantly and similarly reduced after sevoflurane exposure in the SB and MV group compared with Con group. Exposure to sevoflurane did not induce oxidative stress. It led to reduction in diaphragmatic force. In the MV group, sevoflurane led to the activation of atrophy signaling pathways. These findings are of particular importance for clinical utilization in intensive care units and question its use, especially during the phases of SB.