Introduction. Because of obvious concerns, it is not possible to thoroughly explore the adverse effects of anesthetics in children. However, the availability of neural stem cell derived models has provided an invaluable tool to examine the etiology of neurotoxicity associated with developmental exposure to general anesthetics. Stem cells and neurotoxicity. To evaluate the degree of anesthetic-induced toxicity, cultured neural stem cells were examined, using specific biomarkers, to determine the effects of anesthetics on NSC proliferation/differentiation, the nature of anesthetic-induced toxicity, and possible mechanisms underlying anesthesia toxicity. Anesthetics and proliferation. Using recently developed methods, such as dynamic molecular imaging approaches, the relationships between anesthetic-induced NSC damage and alterations in NSC proliferation have been addressed. Summary. This review focuses on how anesthetics direct or signal NSCs to undergo apoptosis or necrosis, how neuronal transmitter receptors affect neurotoxicity, and how NSC models may serve as the most expeditious platform for decreasing the uncertainty in extrapolating preclinical data to the human condition.