Effects of isoflurane and ethanol administration on c-Fos immunoreactivity in mice

M. L. Smith, J. Li, D. M. Cote, A. E. Ryabinin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Noninvasive functional imaging holds great promise for the future of translational research, due to the ability to directly compare between preclinical and clinical models of psychiatric disorders. Despite this potential, concerns have been raised regarding the necessity to anesthetize rodent and monkey subjects during these procedures, because anesthetics may alter neuronal activity. For example, in studies on drugs of abuse and alcohol, it is not clear to what extent anesthesia can interfere with drug-induced neural activity. Therefore, the current study investigated whole-brain c-Fos activation following isoflurane anesthesia as well as ethanol-induced activation of c-Fos in anesthetized mice. In the first experiment, we examined effects of one or three sessions of gaseous isoflurane on c-Fos activation across the brain in male C57BL/6J mice. Isoflurane administration led to c-Fos activation in several areas, including the piriform cortex and lateral septum. Lower or similar levels of activation in these areas were detected after three sessions of isoflurane, suggesting that multiple exposures may eliminate some of the enhanced neuronal activation caused by acute isoflurane. In the second experiment, we investigated the ability of ethanol injection (1.5 or 2.5. g/kg. i.p.) to induce c-Fos activation under anesthesia. Following three sessions of isoflurane, 1.5. g/kg of ethanol induced c-Fos in the central nucleus of amygdala and the centrally-projecting Edinger-Westphal nucleus (EWcp). This induction was lower after 2.5. g/kg of ethanol. These results demonstrate that ethanol-induced neural activation can be detected in the presence of isoflurane anesthesia. They also suggest, that while habituation to isoflurane helps reduce neuronal activation, interaction between effects of anesthesia and alcohol can occur. Studies using fMRI imaging could benefit from using habituated animals and dose-response analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-343
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Alcohol
  • Anesthesia
  • C-Fos
  • Isoflurane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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