Bupivacaine, a common local anesthetic, can cause neurotoxicity and abnormal neuro-disorders. However, the precise underlying mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. In this study, we investigated the function of lncRNA MALAT1 in the bupivacaine-induced neurotoxicity process.

Materials and Methods:

SH-SY5Y cells and neonatal mouse DRG neurons were cultured in vitro and treated with bupivacaine to establish a neurotoxicity model. Caspase3 activity and cell survival rates were detected to evaluate the function of lncRNA MALAT1. Western blotting was used to detect the expression levels of PDCD4 and cleaved-caspase-3. A dual-luciferase reporter assay was used to explore the potential binding target of lncRNA MALAT1.


We found that the expression of lncRNA MALAT1 was upregulated upon exposure to bupivacaine. Knockdown of lncRNA MALAT1 significantly increased the cell death rates, and Caspase3 activity assays revealed that the apoptosis rates were manifestly increased in the MALAT1 downregulation group. In addition, we screened the possible target and found that miR-101-3p is the direct target of MALAT1 using a dual-luciferase reporter assay; these results suggest that lncRNA MALAT1 may function as a decoy to sponge miR-101-3p. Furthermore, we demonstrated that activation of the MALAT1/miR-101-3p/PDCD4 axis protected cells against bupivacaine treatment.


We elucidated the function and mechanism of MALAT1 in bupivacaine-induced neurotoxicity. Targeting MALAT1 might provide new methods to prevent neurotoxicity.

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