Aarhus Universitets segl

Continuous anesthesia for 60 days in an isosmotic environment does not impair limb or cardiac regeneration in the axolotl

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Longitudinal animal experiments in the field of regenerative biology often require repeated use of short-term anesthesia (minutes to a few hours). Regain of consciousness limits the level of acceptable invasiveness of procedures, and it makes it difficult to untangle behavioral changes caused by injury to physiological processes involved in the regenerative response. Therefore, a method to keep a regenerative research animal in a comatose state under continuous anesthesia during regenerative experiments often spanning months, would be ethically and experimentally desirable. Here we report on a method using propofol based anesthesia in an isosmotic environment that allows for continuous anesthesia of regenerating axolotls for 60 days with a 75% survival rate, thus spanning the majority of a full regenerative cycle following limb amputation or cryoinjury to the heart. No differences were detected in the axolotl’s ability to regenerate amputated limbs and cardiac cryo-injury while anesthetized, however some regenerative failures in the limb were observed in both anesthetized and unanesthetized control groups, most likely caused by prolonged fasting. Sixty days of anesthesia may be approaching a level were kidney function is affected, but the 75% surviving anesthetized animals recovered well after anesthesia and showed a full behavioral recovery within 17 days.
TidsskriftScientific Reports
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2023

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