Early effects of tribromoethanol, ketamine/xylazine, pentobarbitol, and isoflurane anesthesia on hepatic and lymphoid tissue in ICR mice

John S. Thompson, Stephen A. Brown, Valarie Khurdayan, Amenah Zeynalzadedan, Patrick G. Sullivan, Stephen W. Scheff

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59 Scopus citations


We investigated the effects of various anesthetic agents on hepatic and splenic injury in mice. Three and six hours after intraperitoneal injection of TBE, intramuscular injection of ketamine/xylazine combination (K/X), intraperitoneal injection of pentobarbital (PB), and inhalation of isoflurane (IF), or intraperitoneal and intramuscular injection of control saline, mice were exsanguinated and serum was obtained for measurement of hepatic aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT) and γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT). The spleen and liver also were obtained, and sections were examined by use of routine light microscopy for pathologic changes and for apoptosis, as determined by use of the in situ terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUPT nick-end-labeling (TUNEL) histochemical analysis. Three hours after TBE or K/X administration, AST activity increased three- to fourfold above that in untreated and saline-injected control animals, and remained high at six hours. Administration of PB did not effect AST activity at three hours, but there was a significant increase at six hours. Activity of ALT was non-significantly increased three hours after TBE and K/X, but not PB administration. Administration of IF had no effect on hepatic enzyme activities, and GGT was not increased after administration of any of the agents. Markedly increased apoptosis was observed in splenic follicles and in hepatic Kupffer and endothelial cells at three hours after TBE and K/X administration, but apoptosis decreased to control levels by six hours. Increased apoptosis was not observed after IF administration. Administration of TBE and K/X causes injury to lymphocytes and to hepatic Kupffer and endothelial cells within three hours, and PB administration induces changes within six hours. Thus, use of these anesthetic agents should be avoided when experiments are being designed to test short-term effects of an experimental intervention on the spleen and possibly on all lymphoid tissues. In addition, they also should be avoided in experiments testing effects on hepatic tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-67
Number of pages5
JournalComparative Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)
  • Veterinary (all)


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