Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
The new generation of inhalational anesthetics has been widely used for general anesthesia in both clinical and experimental settings because of their safety, reliability and potency. A neuroprotective role has recently been revealed for some of these anesthetics, including the volatile gases isoflurane, sevoflurane, and desflurane, as well as the inert gas xenon. In vivo and in vitro studies have demonstrated that these gases were able to protect brain against ischemic injury, indicated by the decreases in infarct volumes and neuronal apoptosis. In this review, we will briefly introduce the properties of these gases, and discuss in detail their effects on brain ischemia, effective treatment regimens, and neuroprotective mechanisms. Perspectives are also discussed on future study and use of inhalational anesthetics.