Up-regulation of miR-106a targets LIMK1 and contributes to cognitive impairment induced by isoflurane anesthesia in mice

  • Ning Zhang
  • Weiguang Ye
  • Tianlong Wang
  • Hui Wen
  • Lan YaoEmail author
Research Article



Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) had a great relationship with anesthesia during surgery, and miRNAs have been found involved in anesthesia-induced cognitive impairment.


To explore the role and potential mechanism of miR-106a in isoflurane anesthesia-induced cognitive impairment.


Adult male mice were treated with isoflurane anesthesia; Morris water maze tests and fear conditioning tests were performed; and expression levels of miR-106a and LIMK1 were determined by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) and western blot. Dual luciferase reporter assay was used to determine the binding of miR-106a and 3’UTR of LIMK1. To verify the role of miR-106a, antagomir of miR-106a were intrahippocampally injected. Finally, expression of BCL2 apoptosis regulator (Bcl-2), LIM domain kinase 1 (LIMK1), BCL2-associated X, apoptosis regulator (Bax) and cleaved caspase3 was determined by western blot.


In isoflurane anesthesia-treated group (IS), the percentage of target quadrant dwell time was significantly lower and the escape latency was significantly higher than in the control group (sham), and the freezing behavior of IS was significantly less in contextual fear conditioning tests. Expression levels of miR-106a were increased and those of LIMK1 were decreased in response to IS. Dual luciferase reporter assay showed that miR-106a could bind with the 3’UTR of LIMK1. Decreased expression levels of miR-106a improved the cognitive impairment of the mice treated with isoflurane. Intrahippocampally injected antagomir of miR-106a also increased LIMK1 and Bcl-2 levels, decreased the BAX and cleaved caspase3 expression levels in the mice treated with isoflurane.


Decrease of LIMK1 expression by miR-106a played an important role in isoflurane anesthesia-induced cognitive impairment.


miR-106a LIMK1 Isoflurane anesthesia Cognitive impairment 


Author contributions

NZ and LY conceived and designed the experiments, WGY analyzed and interpreted the results of the experiments, TLW and HW performed the experiments.



Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests, and all authors should confirm its accuracy.

Ethics approval and consent to participate

The animal use peotocol listed below has been reviewde and approved by the Animal Ethical and Welfaer Committee.


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Copyright information

© The Genetics Society of Korea 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ning Zhang
    • 1
  • Weiguang Ye
    • 2
  • Tianlong Wang
    • 2
  • Hui Wen
    • 1
  • Lan Yao
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiaPeking University International HospitalBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of AnesthesiaXuanwu Hospital of Capital Medical UniversityBeijingChina

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