Genistein attenuates cognitive deficits and neuroapoptosis in hippocampus induced by ketamine exposure in neonatal rats.
Synapse. 2020 Jul 8:e22181. Epub 2020 Jul 8. PMID: 32639628
Ketamine is a frequently used anesthetic in pediatric patients that can cause cognitive impairment. Genistein, a bioactive component of soy products, has been shown to suppress neuronal death through regulating the expression of apoptosis related genes. In this study, we hypothesized that genistein could alleviate ketamine-induced cognitive impairment by ameliorating hippocampal neuronal loss and tested this hypothesis in rats. Neonatal rats were treated with ketamine and genistein. Hippocampal tissue was harvested for histological and biochemical analysis to determine neuronal apoptosis and proteins involved in the apoptotic pathways. Behavioral assays including contextual fear conditioning test and Morris water maze test were performed to assess cognitive functions, including learning and memory. We found that in fear conditioning test, genistein restored freezing time in ketamine treated rats in a dose dependent manner. Similarly, genistein attenuated impaired learning and memory in Morris water maze test in rats treated with ketamine. Additionally, ketamine-induced neuronal apoptosis in rat hippocampus was attenuated by genistein treatment. Finally, we found that genistein partially restored proteins associated with apoptosis, including Bax, Bcl-2, cleaved caspase 3, and phosphorylated GSK-3ß and Akt. Genistein suppresses hippocampal neuronal loss and cognitive disruption induced by ketamine in rats.