Effect of General Anesthetic Agents on Microglia

Yanchang Yang, Wenxin Hang, Jun Li, Tiantian Liu, Yuhan Hu, Fuquan Fang, Dandan Yan, Patrick M. McQuillan, Mi Wang, Zhiyong Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The effects of general anesthetic agents (GAAs) on microglia and their potential neurotoxicity have attracted the attention of neuroscientists. Microglia play important roles in the inflammatory process and in neuromodulation of the central nervous system. Microglia-mediated neuroinflammation is a key mechanism of neurocognitive dysfunction during the perioperative period. Microglial activation by GAAs induces anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory effects in microglia, suggesting that GAAs play a dual role in the mechanism of postoperative cognitive dysfunction. Understanding of the mechanisms by which GAAs regulate microglia may help to reduce the incidence of postoperative adverse effects. Here, we review the actions of GAAs on microglia and the consequent changes in microglial function. We summarize clinical and animal studies associating microglia with general anesthesia and describe how GAAs interact with neurons via microglia to further explore the mechanisms of action of GAAs in the nervous system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1308-1328
Number of pages21
JournalAging and Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cell Biology

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