Figure 1. Sevoflurane impaired learning and memory, induced neuronal apoptosis, and increased Nupr1 mRNA expression in neonatal rats. Neonatal rats were separated into two groups of 12 each. The control group was exposed to air, while the sevoflurane (SEVO) group was exposed to 3.4% SEVO, for 6 hours. (A, B) A novel object recognition test was conducted 8 weeks after SEVO exposure. (A) Exploration times during the recognition session for the familiar (X) and novel (Y) objects. (B) The discrimination index indicates time spent exploring the novel object relative to total exploration time for both the novel and familiar objects. (C–E) An open field test was conducted 8 weeks after SEVO exposure. (C) Time spent in the center of the open field during the 5 min exploration period. (D) Total distance traveled during the 5 min exploration period. (E) Traces showing rats’ movements during the 5 min exploration period. (F–G) TUNEL staining in the rat hippocampus; representative images (F) and quantification (G). (H–I) Western blotting for Cleaved-Caspase-3, Bax, and Bcl-2 in rat brain; representative images (H) and quantification (I). (J) RT-qPCR for Nupr1 mRNA. (K) Rat body weights at seven days after birth and eight weeks after sevoflurane or air exposure. **p<0.05. N=6.