Local anesthetics in spinal anesthesia have neurotoxic effects, resulting in severe neurological complications. Intrathecal monosialoganglioside (GM1) administration has a therapeutic effect on bupivacaine-induced neurotoxicity. The aim of this study was to determine the underlying mechanisms of bupivacaine-induced neurotoxicity and the potential neuroprotective role of GM1.
A rat spinal cord neurotoxicity model was established by injecting bupivacaine (5%, 0.12 μL/g) intrathecally. The protective effect of GM1 (30 mg/kg) was evaluated by pretreating the animals with it prior to the bupivacaine regimen. The neurological and locomotor functions were assessed using standard tests. The histomorphological changes, neuron degeneration and apoptosis, and endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) relevant markers were analyzed using immunofluorescence, quantitative real-time PCR, and Western blotting.
Bupivacaine resulted in significant neurotoxicity in the form of aberrant neurolocomoter functions and spinal cord histomorphology and neuronal apoptosis. Furthermore, the ERS specific markers were significantly upregulated during bupivacaine-induced neurotoxicity. These neurotoxic effects were ameliorated by GM1.