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J Vet Med Sci. 2015 Feb;77(2):139-45. doi: 10.1292/jvms.14-0212. Epub 2014 Oct 14.

Propofol attenuates LPS-induced tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6 and nitric oxide expression in canine peripheral blood mononuclear cells possibly through down-regulation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB activation.

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Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Animal Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, PR China.


Sepsis is a major cause of mortality in intensive care medicine. Propofol, an intravenous general anesthetic, has been suggested to have anti-inflammatory properties and able to prevent sepsis induced by Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria by down-regulating the gene expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. However, propofol's anti-inflammatory effects upon canine peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) have not yet been clarified. Here, we isolate canine PBMCs and investigate the effects of propofol on the gene expressions of both lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and upon the production of nitric oxide (NO). Through real-time quantitative PCR and the Griess reagent system, we found that non-cytotoxic levels of propofol significantly inhibited the release of NO and IL-6 and TNF-α gene expression in LPS-induced canine PBMCs. Western blotting revealed that LPS does significantly increase the expression of inducible NO synthase (iNOS) protein in canine PBMCs, while pretreatment with propofol significantly decreases the LPS-induced iNOS protein expression. Propofol, at concentration of 25 µM and 50 µM, also significantly inhibited the LPS-induced nuclear translocation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB p65 protein in canine PBMCs. This diminished TNF-α, IL-6 and iNOS expression, and NO production was in parallel to the respective decreased NF-κB p65 protein nuclear translocation in the LPS-activated canine PBMCs pretreated with 25 µM and 50 µM propofol. This suggests that non-cytotoxic levels of propofol pretreatment can down-regulate LPS-induced inflammatory responses in canine PBMCs, possibly by inhibiting the nuclear translocation of the NF-κB p65 protein.

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