We aimed to evaluate the neurotoxicity and mechanisms of anesthetics propofol in hESC-derived neurons. Cell apoptosis in hESC-derived neurons’ exposure to 4, 10 and 20 μg/mL propofol for 6 h was assessed using terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate in situ nick end labeling (TUNEL) staining and microRNA-665 (miR-665) expression was assessed using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). miR-665 was overexpressed and knocked down using a miR-665 mimic and anti-665 transfection, respectively. The results showed that hESCs exposed to propofol showed a dose-dependent cell apoptosis, followed by the upregulation of miR-665 expression. Overexpression of miR-665 increased propofol-induced apoptosis in hESC cells. And targeting miR-665 decreased propofol-induced cell apoptosis in hESC cells. These data suggest that propofol induces cell death in hESC-derived neurons and the propofol-induced cell apoptosis may occur via miR-665-dependent mechanism.

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