Numerous studies have demonstrated that treatment with high dose anesthetics for a prolonged duration induces brain injury in infants. However, whether anesthetic treatment leading to neurotoxicity is associated with alterations in lipid metabolism and homeostasis is still unclear. This review first outlines the lipidomics tools for analysis of lipid molecular species that can inform alterations in lipid species after anesthetic exposure. Then the available data indicating anesthetics cause changes in lipid profiles in the brain and serum of infant monkeys in preclinical studies are summarized, and the potential mechanisms leading to the altered lipid metabolism and their association with anesthetic-induced brain injury are also discussed. Finally, whether lipid changes identified in serum of infant monkeys can serve as indicators for the early detection of anesthetic-induced brain injury is described. We believe extensive studies on alterations in lipids after exposure to anesthetics will allow us to better understand anesthetic-induced neurotoxicity, unravel its underlying biochemical mechanisms, and develop powerful biomarkers for early detection/monitoring of the toxicity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas