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Post-Treatment Sevoflurane Protects Against Hypoxic-Ischemic Brain Injury in Neonatal Rats by Downregulating Histone Methyltransferase G9a and Upregulating Nuclear Factor Erythroid 2-Related Factor 2 (NRF2)

HuaiMing Wang, YiQuan Xu, Shuying Zhu, XueMing Li, HongWei Zhang

(Department of Anesthesiology, Sichuan Cancer Hospital and Institute, Sichuan Cancer Center, School of Medicine, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, Sichuan, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2021; 27:e930042

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.930042


BACKGROUND: Perinatal hypoxia and subsequent reduction of cerebral blood flow leads to neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury (HIBI), resulting in severe disability and even death. Preconditioning or post-conditioning with sevoflurane protects against cerebral injury. This study investigated the mechanism of sevoflurane in HIBI.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The HIBI model of neonatal rats was established and the model rats were post-treated with sevoflurane. The oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) cell model was established, and the OGD cells were transfected with NRF2-siRNA plasmid and post-treated with sevoflurane. The Morris water maze test was used to detect the motor activity, spatial learning, and memory ability of HIBI rats. Histological stainings were performed to observe the area of cerebral infarction, record the number of neurons in the hippocampus, and assess neuron apoptosis. The levels of inflammatory factors were detected by ELISA. The protein levels of histone methyltransferase G9a and histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9me2) were detected by western blot assay. The apoptosis was detected by flow cytometry.
RESULTS: Sevoflurane post-treatment significantly shortened the escape latency of HIBI neonatal rats, increased the density of neurons, reduced the area of cerebral infarction, and decreased the levels of inflammatory factors and neuronal apoptosis. Sevoflurane post-treatment decreased G9a and H3K9me2 levels, and G9a level was negatively correlated with NRF2 level. NRF2 silencing reversed the alleviation of sevoflurane post-treatment on OGD-induced cell injury.
CONCLUSIONS: Sevoflurane post-treatment promotes NRF2 expression by inhibiting G9a and H3K9me2, thus alleviating HIBI in neonatal rats.

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