Isoflurane impairs oogenesis through germ cell apoptosis in C. elegans

Tao Zhang, Cheng Ni, Cheng Li, Pan Lu, Dan Chen, Yuanlin Dong, Johnathan R. Whetstine, Yiying Zhang, Zhongcong Xie

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1 Scopus citations


Anesthetic isoflurane has been reported to induce toxicity. However, the effects of isoflurane on fecundity remain largely unknown. We established a system in C. elegans to investigate the effects of isoflurane on oogenesis. Synchronized L4 stage C. elegans were treated with 7% isoflurane for 4 h. Dead cells, ROS, embryos, and unfertilized eggs laid by hermaphrodites were measured by fluorescence imaging and counting. The C. elegans with losses of ced-3, cep-1, abl-1, male C. elegans, and oxidative stress inhibitor N-acetyl-cysteine were used in the interaction studies. We found that isoflurane decreased the numbers of embryos and unfertilized eggs and increased the levels of dead cells and ROS in C. elegans. The isoflurane-induced impairment of oogenesis was associated with abl-1, ced-3, but not cep-1. N-acetyl-cysteine attenuated the isoflurane-induced impairment of oogenesis in C. elegans. Mating with male C. elegans did not attenuate the isoflurane-induced changes in oogenesis. These findings suggest that isoflurane may impair oogenesis through abl-1- and ced-3-associated, but not cep-1-associated, germ cell apoptosis and oxidative stress, pending further investigation. These studies will promote more research to determine the potential effects of anesthesia on fecundity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14481
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


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