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Brain Res. 2013 Nov 6;1537:283-9. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2013.08.036. Epub 2013 Aug 28.

Isoflurane post-conditioning protects primary cultures of cortical neurons against oxygen and glucose deprivation injury via upregulation of Slit2/Robo1.

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Department of Anesthesiology, ShengJing Hospital, China Medical University, Shenyang, China. Electronic address:


Different mechanisms have been suggested to contribute to isoflurane-mediated neuroprotection. Previous studies have suggested that the protein Slit can abrogate neuronal death in mixed neuronal-glial cultures exposed to oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) and reperfusion (OGD/R). We hypothesized that isoflurane increases the expression of Slit and its receptor Robo when cortical neurons are exposed to OGD/R. To test this hypothesis, we exposed primary cortical neurons to OGD for 90 min and reperfusion for 24h and investigated how isoflurane post-conditioning affected cell survival and expression of Slit2 and receptors Robo1 and Robo4. Cell survival increased after administration of isoflurane, as assessed by the lactate dehydrogenase assay, trypan blue analysis, and propidium iodide staining. Western blot analysis showed that cleaved caspase-3 was increased after OGD/R(P<0.01) but reduced by isoflurane post-conditioning. Real-time PCR and Western blot analysis showed that the expression levels of Slit2 and Robo1, but not Robo4, were increased after OGD/R (P<0.5) and increased even further by isoflurane post-conditioning (P<0.01). Our results suggest that isoflurane post-conditioning markedly attenuates apoptosis and necrosis of cortical neurons exposed to OGD/R possibly in part via elevation of Slit2 and Robo1 expression. These findings provide a novel explanation for the pleiotropic effects of isoflurane that could benefit the central nervous system.


Isoflurane; Neuroprotection; OGD; Slit/Robo

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