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Mol Cells. 2010 Nov;30(5):455-60. doi: 10.1007/s10059-010-0130-z. Epub 2010 Sep 2.

Propofol protects the autophagic cell death induced by the ischemia/reperfusion injury in rats.

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Department of Biochemistry, Gyeongsang National University School of Medicine, Jinju, 660-751, Korea.


Autophagy has been implicated in cardiac cell death during ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). In this study we investigated how propofol, an antioxidant widely used for anesthesia, affects the autophagic cell death induced by the myocardial I/R injury. The infarction size in the myocardium was dramatically reduced in rats treated with propofol during I/R compared with untreated rats. A large number of autophagic vacuoles were observed in the cardiomyocytes of I/R-injured rats but rarely in I/R-injured rats treated with propofol. While LC3-II formation, an autophagy marker, was up-regulated in the I/R-injured myocardium, it was significantly down-regulated in the myocardial tissues of I/R-injured and propofol-treated rats. Moreover, propofol inhibited the I/R-induced expression of Beclin-1, and it accelerated phosphorylation of mTOR during I/R and Beclin-1/Bcl-2 interaction in cells, which indicates that it facilitates the inhibitory pathway of autophagy. These data suggest that propofol protects the autophagic cell death induced by the myocardial I/R injury.

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