Sevoflurane is widely used as an inhalational anesthetic in clinical practice. However, sevoflurane can cause cytotoxicity and induce learning capacity decline in patients. A previous publication indicated that miR-204-5p might have a close relationship with sevoflurane-induced neurotoxicity. When exposed to sevoflurane, the expression of miR-204-5p in neonatal hippocampus of rats was significantly increased. Hence, we aimed to investigate the role of miR-204-5p in sevoflurane-induced neurotoxicity using a mouse hippocampal neuronal cell line (HT22).


The levels of miR-204-5p in HT22 cells were detected by RT-qPCR. In addition, the effects of miR-204-5p on cell viability, apoptosis and proliferation were evaluated by CCK-8, flow cytometric, and immunofluorescence assay, respectively. Western blotting was used to detect expressions of Bax, Bcl-2, active caspase 3, BDNF, TrkB, p-TrkB, Akt and p-Akt in HT22 cells. ELISA assay was used to examine the levels of total superoxide dismutase (SOD), reduced glutathione (GSH), malondialdehyde (MDA) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cells. Meanwhile, the dual luciferase reporter system assay was employed to explore the interaction of miR-204-5p and BDNF in cells.


The level of miR-204-5p was increased in sevoflurane-treated HT22 cells. Moreover, downregulation of miR-204-5p inhibited sevoflurane-induced apoptosis and promoted cell proliferation by upregulating the proteins of Bcl-2 and downregulating the expressions of Bax and active caspase-3 in HT22 cells. In addition, inhibition of miR-204-5p alleviated sevoflurane-induced oxidative injuries in HT22 cells via decline of ROS and MDA and upregulation of SOD and GSH. Furthermore, bioinformatics and dual luciferase assay demonstrated that miR-204-5p can inhibit the TrkB/Akt pathway by targeting BDNF.


Our findings indicated that downregulation of miR-204-5p can decrease oxidative status in HT22 cells and alleviate sevoflurane-induced cytotoxicity through stimulating the BDNF/TrkB/Akt pathway. Therefore, miR-204-5p might be a potential biomarker and therapeutic target for the treatment of sevoflurane-induced neurotoxicity.

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