Objective: This study aimed to investigate whether long noncoding RNA sprouty receptor tyrosine kinase signaling antagonist 4-intronic transcript 1 (SPRY4-IT1) is involved in the regulation of ketamine-induced neurotoxicity. Methods: Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) were induced into neurons in vitro and treated with ketamine. Apoptosis and neurite degeneration assays were used to determine ketamine-induced neurotoxicity and qRT-PCR to determine SPRY4-IT1 expression. SPRY4-IT1 was downregulated in hESC-induced neurons to examine its regulation on ketamine-induced neurotoxicity. The correlation between enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) and SPRY4-IT1 was also examined. EZH2 was upregulated in SPRY4-IT1-downregualted hESC-induced neurons to further examine its participation in SPRY4-IT1-mediated ketamine neurotoxicity. Results: Ketamine-induced dose-dependent apoptosis, neurite degeneration, and SPRY4-IT1 upregulation in hESC-induced neurons. Lentivirus-mediated SPRY4-IT1 downregulation protected ketamine neurotoxicity. EZH2 expression was positively correlated with SPRY4-IT1 in hESC-induced neurons. EZH2 overexpression markedly reversed the protective effects of SPRY4-IT1 knockdown on ketamine neurotoxicity. Conclusions: SPRY4-IT1 is involved in anesthesia-induced neurotoxicity, possibly through the regulation on EZH2 gene.

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