Volatile anesthetic post-treatment induces protection via inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase 3β in human neuron-like cells.

PMID 21277352


Application of the volatile anesthetic isoflurane during the early phase of reperfusion reduces ischemic heart and brain injury (anesthetic post-conditioning). We hypothesize that inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β), a protein whose activation can lead to cell death, participates in anesthetic post-conditioning-induced neuroprotection. SH-SY5Y cells, a human neuroblastoma cell line, were induced by retinoic acid to differentiate into terminal neuron-like cells. The cells were then subjected to a 1-h oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD), a condition to simulate ischemia in vitro, and a 20-h simulated reperfusion. Isoflurane, sevoflurane or desflurane, three commonly used volatile anesthetics, were applied for 1 h during the early phase of simulated reperfusion. Cell injury was quantified by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release. Phospho-GSK3β at Ser9 and total GSK3β were quantified at 1 or 3 h after the OGD. OGD increased LDH release, suggesting that OGD induced cell injury. Post-treatment with isoflurane, sevoflurane or desflurane reduced this cell injury. This protection was apparent when 2% isoflurane was applied within 1 h after the onset of reperfusion. Isoflurane post-treatment also significantly increased the phosphorylation of GSK3β at Ser9 at 1 h after the OGD. GSK3β inhibitors reduced OGD and simulated reperfusion-induced LDH release. The combination of GSK3β inhibitors and isoflurane post-conditioning did not cause a greater protection than isoflurane post-conditioning alone. These results suggest that volatile anesthetic post-conditioning reduces OGD and simulated reperfusion-induced cell injury. Since phospho-GSK3β at Ser9 decreases GSK3β activity, our results suggest that volatile anesthetic post-conditioning in human neuron-like cells may be mediated by GSK3β inhibition.