Impaired autophagosome clearance contributes to local anesthetic bupivacaine-induced myotoxicity in mouse myoblasts.

PMID 25591043


The current study examined the role(s) of autophagy in myotoxicity induced by bupivacaine in mouse myoblast C2c12 cells. C2c12 cells were treated with bupivacaine. Myotoxicity was evaluated by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay (n = 3 to 30), live/dead assay (n = 3 to 4), and morphological alterations (n = 3). Autophagosome formation was reflected by microtubule-associated protein light chain 3 conversion (n = 4 to 12) and light chain 3 punctation (n = 4 to 5). Autophagosome clearance was evaluated by p62 protein level (n = 4) and autolysosomes generation (n = 3). Bupivacaine induced significant cell damage. Notably, there was a significant increase in autophagosome generation as evidenced by light chain 3 puncta formation (72.7 ± 6.9 vs. 2.1 ± 1.2) and light chain 3 conversion (2.16 ± 0.15 vs. 0.33 ± 0.04) in bupivacaine-treated cells. Bupivacaine inactivated the protein kinase B/mammalian target of rapamycin/p70 ribosomal protein S6 kinase signaling. However, cellular levels of p62 protein were significantly increased upon bupivacaine treatment (1.29 ± 0.15 vs. 1.00 ± 0.15), suggesting that the drug impaired autophagosome clearance. Further examination revealed that bupivacaine interrupted autophagosome-lysosome fusion (10.87% ± 1.48% vs. 32.94% ± 4.22%). Administration of rapamycin increased autophagosome clearance and, most importantly, improved the survival in bupivacaine-treated cells. However, knockdown of autophagy-related protein 5 (atg5) exacerbated bupivacaine-induced impairment of autophagosome clearance and myotoxicity. The data suggest that autophagosome formation was induced as a stress response mechanism after bupivacaine challenge; however, autophagosome clearance was impaired due to inadequate autophagosome-lysosome fusion. Therefore, impairment of autophagosome clearance appears to be a novel mechanism underlying bupivacaine-induced myotoxicity.