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J Immunotoxicol. 2011 Oct-Dec;8(4):359-66. doi: 10.3109/1547691X.2011.620036. Epub 2011 Oct 28.

Intravenous anesthetic propofol suppresses prostaglandin E2 production in murine dendritic cells.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Kansai Medical University, Osaka, Japan.


Propofol is an intravenous anesthetic that is widely used for anesthesia and sedation. Dendritic cells (DC) are one of the crucial immune cells that bridge innate and adaptive immunity, in which DC process antigens during innate immune responses to present them to naïve T-cells, leading to an establishment of adaptive immunity. Prostaglandin (PG)-E(2) may be secreted by DC into the microenvironment, considerably influencing DC phenotype and function, and thus determining the fate of adaptive immunity. Since propofol suppresses PGE(2) production in murine macrophages, the primary purpose of the present study was to determine whether propofol also suppresses PGE(2) production in DC. Assuming a positive finding of such suppression, we tested whether this also leads to alterations of interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-10 production and DC surface marker expression, both of which can be modulated by PGE(2). In bone marrow-derived DC, propofol significantly suppressed the PGE(2) production after lipopolysaccharide stimulation. Cyclo-oxygenase (COX) protein expression and arachidonic acid release were unaffected, while COX enzyme activity was significantly inhibited by propofol. The propofol-induced COX inhibition did not lead to the increased production of cysteinyl leukotrienes and leukotriene-B(4). Endogenous COX inhibition with propofol, as well as with the selective COX-2 inhibitor, NS-398, did not affect IL-12 and IL-10 production from DC. The surface expression of I-A(b) and CD40 on DC was not changed, while that of CD86 slightly increased, with both propofol and NS-398; expression of CD80 was not affected with propofol, but increased slightly with NS-398. Finally, endogenous COX inhibition with either propofol or NS-398 did not significantly affect the ability of DC to induce allogeneic T-cell proliferation. It is concluded that the intravenous anesthetic propofol suppresses COX enzyme activity in DC, with no consequences with respect to IL-12/IL-10 production and allogeneic T-cell proliferation, while minimal consequences were observed in surface molecule expression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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