Contribution of microRNA-203 to the isoflurane preconditioning-induced neuroprotection

… Rectal temperature was maintained at 37 °C ± 0.5 °C. Heart rate and pulse oximeter
oxygen saturation (SpO 2 ) were measured continuously during anesthesia with a
MouseOx™ Pulse Oximeter (Harvard Apparatus, Holliston, MA). …
A prior exposure to isoflurane, a common volatile anesthetic, provides neuroprotection (isoflurane preconditioning). To determine the role of microRNAs in this protection, we performed microRNA array assay on cerebral cortex harvested from rats exposed to isoflurane or isoflurane-exposed rat B35 neuron-like cells. We showed that isoflurane significantly increased microRNA-203 expression in B35 neuron-like cells. The microRNA-203 expression in rat cerebral cortex also trended to increase after isoflurane exposure. Over-expression of microRNA-203 increased the tolerance of B35 cells to oxygen-glucose deprivation and the expression of phospho-Akt, a protein kinase that promotes cell survival. Isoflurane preconditioning also reduced the injury of these cells after oxygen-glucose deprivation. These results suggest that isoflurane preconditioning-induced neuroprotection may involve increased expression of microRNA-203. This finding provides the initial evidence that micoRNA-203 is a target for isoflurane in the brain.