A number of microRNAs (miRs) have been identified as being involved in the regulation of anesthesia-induced cognitive impairment. The aim of the present study was to investigated the role and potential mechanism of miR-133b in isoflurane-induced learning and memory impairment. An animal model of isoflurane exposure was established using neonatal Sprague-Dawley rats. The rats were trained for Morris water maze (MWM) testing to assess their spatial learning and memory ability. Reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used for the measurement of miR-133b expression in hippocampal tissues and primary hippocampal neuron cultures. Cell viability was assessed using a Cell Counting Kit-8 assay, and flow cytometric analysis was used to determine the rate of apoptosis. The MWM test results indicated that during the training period, the time required to locate the platform was significantly increased for rats exposed to isoflurane, and this increased time was reduced by the overexpression of miR-133b. The results of a probe trial indicated that isoflurane exposure increased escape latency and decreased the time spent in the platform area for isoflurane-treated rats; however, these effects were reversed by the injection of miR-133b agomir. The in vitro experiments demonstrated that the overexpression of miR-133b attenuated the reduction of neuronal cell viability induced by isoflurane, and inhibited the isoflurane-induced apoptosis of hippocampal neurons. In conclusion, the present study revealed that the overexpression of miR-133b attenuated isoflurane-induced learning and memory impairment in rats. Furthermore, miR-133b overexpression promoted the viability of hippocampal neurons and their resistance to apoptosis when exposed to isoflurane.

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Yu Zhang, Jinyong Liu, Cuili Xie, & Pingping Wu.
Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine November 2021