Surgery upregulates high mobility group box-1 and disrupts the blood-brain barrier causing cognitive dysfunction in aged rats.CNS Neurosci Ther. 2012 Dec; 18(12):994-1002.CN
Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) is a growing and largely underestimated problem without defined etiology. Herein, we sought to determine the relationship between cognitive decline, blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability, and inflammation, namely high mobility group box-1 (HMGB1), after surgery in aged rats.
Aged rats were randomly assigned as surgery group (n = 45, splenectomy under general anesthesia), anesthesia (n = 45, 2% isoflurane for 2 h), and naïve control (n = 15). Markers of inflammation were measured in plasma and brain. Blood-brain barrier ultrastructure and permeability were measured by transmission electron microscope (TEM) and IgG immunohistochemistry. Cognitive function was assessed in a reversal learning version of the Morris water maze (MWM).
Surgical trauma under general anesthesia caused distinct changes in systemic and central proinflammatory cytokines. Levels of HMGB1 and the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) were significantly upregulated in the hippocampus of operated animals. Immunohistochemistry and TEM showed BBB disruption induced by surgery and anesthesia. These molecular changes were associated with cognitive impairment in latency with the MWM up to postoperative day 3.
HMGB1 and RAGE signaling appear pivotal mediators of surgery-induced cognitive decline and may contribute to the changes in BBB permeability after peripheral surgical trauma.