Anesthesia & Analgesia: April 2016 – Volume 122 – Issue 4 – p 1024–1030
AUTHORS: Yuan, Jing MD et al
BACKGROUND: It has been increasingly suggested that propofol protects against hypoxic-/ischemic-induced neuronal injury. As evidenced by hemorrhage-induced stroke, hemorrhage into the brain may also cause brain damage. Whether propofol protects against hemorrhage-induced brain damage remains unknown. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the effects of propofol on hemoglobin-induced cytotoxicity in cultured mouse cortical neurons.
METHODS: Neurons were prepared from the cortex of embryonic 15-day-old mice. Hemoglobin was used to induce cytotoxicity in the neurons. The neurons were then treated with propofol for 4 hours. Cytotoxicity was determined by lactate dehydrogenase release assay. Caspase-3 activation was examined by Western blot analysis. Finally, the free radical scavenger U83836E was used to examine the potential involvement of oxidative stress in propofol’s effects on hemoglobin-induced cytotoxicity.
RESULTS: We found that treatment with hemoglobin induced cytotoxicity in the neurons. Propofol enhanced hemoglobin-induced cytotoxicity. Specifically, there was a significant difference in the amount of lactate dehydrogenase release between hemoglobin plus saline (19.84% ± 5.38%) and hemoglobin plus propofol (35.79% ± 4.41%) in mouse cortical neurons (P = 0.00058, Wilcoxon Mann-Whitney U test, n = 8 in the control group or the treatment group). U83836E did not attenuate the enhancing effects of propofol on hemoglobin-induced cytotoxicity in the neurons, and propofol did not significantly affect caspase-3 activation induced by hemoglobin. These data suggested that caspase-3 activation and oxidative stress might not be the underlying mechanisms by which propofol enhanced hemoglobin-induced cytotoxicity. Moreover, these data suggested that the neuroprotective effects of propofol would be dependent on the condition of the brain injury, which will need to be confirmed in future studies.
CONCLUSIONS: These results from our current proof-of-concept study should promote more research in vitro and in vivo to develop better anesthesia care for patients with hemorrhagic stroke.