Vitexin improves neuron apoptosis and memory impairment induced by isoflurane via regulation of miR-409 expression

Adv Clin Exp Med. 2020 Jan;29(1):135-145. doi: 10.17219/acem/104556.


Background: Anesthetics, such as isoflurane, sevoflurane, ketamine, and desflurane, are commonly used in clinics. Specifically, isoflurane is one of the most commonly used inhalational anesthetics, which can be used in surgery patients of all ages, including children.

Objectives: The aim of the study was to investigate the mechanisms of vitexin against isoflurane-induced neurotoxicity.

Material and methods: Reference memory testing was performed for 5 days (4 trials, 2 per day) before anesthesia. Reversal testing was performed on the 3rd day after anesthesia. The cell viability and apoptosis of PC-12 cells were detected using MTT and TUNEL assays, respectively. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits were used to measure serum tumor necrosis factor α (TNF‑α), interleukin 6 (IL‑6), glutathione (GSH), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) concentrations. The concentration of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was detected using ROS measurement. Expression of miR-409 was determined using quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (qPT-PCR). Protein expression levels were detected using western blotting.

Results: Rats treated with isoflurane showed significant increases in the escape latency periods (ELP) and the apoptosis of hippocampus neuron cells; this effect was reversed by 3 mg/kg or 10 mg/kg of vitexin (p < 0.05). Further testing showed that isoflurane could significantly decrease the cell viability and increase the apoptosis of PC-12, the expression of inflammatory cytokines (TNF‑α and IL‑6) and ROS (p < 0.05). However, these results were reversed by 10/100 μM of vitexin. In addition, vitexin could significantly increase the expression of miR-409 (p < 0.05). Further studies showed that overexpression of miR-409 could significantly promote the effect of vitexin on isoflurane-induced neurotoxicity (p < 0.05). Finally, overexpression miR-409 could significantly increase the expression of p-AMPK/t-AMPK and p-GSK3β/t-GSK3β.

Conclusions: Vitexin has protective effects against isoflurane-induced neurotoxicity by targeting miR-409 and the AMPK/GSK3β pathway.

Keywords: AMPK/GSK3β signaling pathway; isoflurane; miR-409; neurotoxicity; vitexin.

MeSH terms

  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Anesthetics, Inhalation*
  • Animals
  • Apigenin / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Child
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Glutathione / blood
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 beta
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Isoflurane / pharmacology*
  • MicroRNAs / drug effects*
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • Neurons / drug effects*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / blood
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood


  • Anesthetics, Inhalation
  • Interleukin-6
  • MIRN410 microRNA, rat
  • MicroRNAs
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Apigenin
  • vitexin
  • Isoflurane
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 beta
  • Gsk3b protein, rat
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Prkaa1 protein, rat
  • Glutathione