Effects of propofol on hypoxia/reoxygenation induced neuronal cell damage in vitro.

Background: Propofol, a widely used intravenous anaesthetic agent, has been shown to protect neuronal cells from hypoxia/reoxygenation injury. However, the underlying mechanisms of these neuroprotective effects are still unclear but may be related to reactive oxygen species which are produced during hypoxia/reoxygenation induced injury. Aim of the study was to investigate the molecular and cellular effects of propofol on hypoxia-induced cell-damage employing the neuronal cell line IMR-32. Results: Hypoxia led to morphological signs of cell damage and increased the release of LDH (hypoxia: 0.78±0.21 a.u., normoxia: 0.39±0.07 a.u.; P<0.05). Addition of propofol significantly reduced the hypoxia induced LDH release (hypoxia + propofol: 0.44±0.17 a.u.; P<0.05 vs hypoxia), diminished morphological signs of cell damage but did not influence protein levels of caspase-3. Reactive oxygen species were increased under hypoxic conditions and significantly reduced by the addition of propofol (hypoxia: 267.70±28.91 a.u., normoxia: 206.60±27.99 a.u.; P<0.01; hypoxia + propofol: 234.00±33.39 a.u.; P<0.05 vs hypoxia). Addition of propofol also decreased hydrogen peroxide levels (hypoxia: 17.38±2.70 μM, hypoxia + propofol: 13.22±1.29 μM; P<0.05). Western blotting experiments showed increased amounts of catalase under hypoxic conditions (hypoxia: 1.29±0.04 a.u., normoxia: 0.92±0.04 a.u.; P<0.001). Addition of propofol decreased the amount of catalase (hypoxia + propofol: 1.04±0.03 a.u.; P<0.01 vs hypoxia) but increased enzymatic activity of the protein (hypoxia: 2.45±0.46 U/ml, hypoxia + propofol 5.17±1.68 U/ml; P<0.05). Conclusion: We suggest that propofol protects neuronal cells from hypoxia/reoxygenation injury and that the associated events may besides direct antioxidant actions of propofol also be due to the capability of the anaesthetic to induce cellular antioxidant mechanisms.


Use and reproduction:

No license. The provisions of the German Copyright Act (UrhG) apply.

Please note that individual components of the publication may be subject to other licensing or copyright conditions.


Citation style:
Could not load citation form.