Bupivacaine (BUP) is a long-acting amide local anesthetic that may induce strong neurotoxicity and neurological complications. In this study, we elucidate the influence of microRNA-494-3p (miR-494-3p) in BUP-induced neurotoxicity in primary mouse hippocampal neuronal cells. In this study, primary hippocampal neurons were isolated from neonatal C57BL/6 mice. The isolated neurons were treated with various doses of BUP. MTT assay was conducted to analyze neuronal viability. Gene expression measurement was done by RT-qPCR. The impact of miR-494-3p in BUP-mediated neural injury was examined using TUNEL, flow cytometry, western blotting, and ROS activity detection. The regulatory relationship between miR-494-3p and cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6 (CDK6) was identified using a luciferase reporter assay. BUP treatment led to neurotoxicity and miR-494-3p upregulation in primary cultured hippocampal neurons. Functionally, miR-494-3p depletion alleviated neuronal apoptosis and oxidative damage induced by BUP. We verified that miR-494-3p targeted and negatively modulated CDK6. MiR-494-3p depletion also activated PI3K/AKT signaling by elevating CDK6 expression in BUP-treated neurons. Furthermore, CDK6 knockdown or PI3K/AKT inactivation attenuated the neuroprotective role of miR-494-3p depletion. Silencing miR-494-3p exerts neuroprotective function in hippocampal neuronal cells against BUP-induced injury by the CDK6-PI3K/AKT pathway.

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Licheng Zhang, Lifeng Zhang, & Fengying Guo.
Neurotoxicity Research October 2021