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Eur J Pharmacol. 2008 Oct 10;594(1-3):139-45. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2008.07.027. Epub 2008 Jul 17.

Effect of propofol on calcium homeostasis in hypoxia-reoxygenated neonatal rat cardiomyocytes.

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Brain Korea 21 Project for Medical Science, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-752, Republic of Korea.


Intracellular Ca2+ overload induced by hypoxia-reoxygenation alters Ca2+ homeostasis, which plays an important role in myocardial cell injury. Even though propofol is known as a radical scavenger with Ca2+ channel blocking properties, little is known about cardioprotective effect associated with Ca2+ homeostasis in cardiomyocytes. In the present study, we showed that propofol protects cardiomyocytes against hypoxia-reoxygenation injury. In propofol-treated cardiomyocytes, we observed a decrease in the expression of pro-apoptotic protein Bax, cytochrome c, caspase-3 activation and intracellular Ca2+ content. We also found that propofol treatment enhanced expression of anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 and activation of ERK concerned with survival. Propofol attenuated alterations of genes involving Ca2+-regulatory mechanism and significantly modulated abnormal changes of SERCA2a genes in hypoxia-reoxygenated neonatal cardiomyocytes. These results suggest that propofol modulates the expression of genes involved in Ca2+ homeostasis, thereby producing cardioprotective effects through a reduction in apoptotic cell death.

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