Background: The pre- and post-conditioning effects of halogenated anesthetics
make them most suitable for cardiac surgery. Several studies have demonstrated that the
mechanism of drug-induced myocardial conditioning is enzyme-mediated via messenger
RNA and miRNA regulation. The objective of this study was to investigate the role that
miRNAs play in the cardioprotective effect of halogenated anesthetics. For such purpose, we
reviewed the literature to determine the expression profile of miRNAs in ischemic
conditioning and in the complications prevented by these phenomena.
Methods: A review was conducted of more than 100 studies to identify miRNAs involved in
anesthetic-induced myocardial conditioning. Our objective was to determine the miRNAs that
play a relevant role in ischemic disease, heart failure and arrhythmogenesis, which expression
is modulated by the perioperative administration of halogenated anesthetics. So far, no studies
have been performed to assess the role of miRNAs in anesthetic-induced myocardial
conditioning. The potential of miRNAs as biomarkers and miRNAs-based therapies involving
the synthesis, inhibition or stimulation of miRNAs are a promising avenue for future research
in the field of cardiology.
Results: Each of the cardioprotective effects of myocardial conditioning is related to the
expression of several (not a single) miRNAs. The cumulative evidence on the role of miRNAs
in heart disease and myocardial conditioning opens new therapeutic and diagnostic
Conclusion: Halogenated anesthetics regulate the expression of miRNAs involved in heart
conditions. Further research is needed to determine the expression profile of miRNAs after
the administration of halogenated drugs. The results of these studies would contribute to the
development of new hypnotics for cardiac surgery patients.