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Int J Mol Med. 2019 Jan;43(1):452-460. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2018.3974. Epub 2018 Nov 5.

Propofol attenuates inflammatory damage on neurons following cerebral infarction by inhibiting excessive activation of microglia.

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Intensive Care Unit, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Hainan Medical University, Haikou, Hainan 570311, P.R. China.
Department of Internal Neurology, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Hainan Medical University, Haikou, Hainan 570311, P.R. China.


The overall incidence rate of stroke is increasing worldwide. Inflammatory damage following a stroke is a leading cause for the poor prognosis and high disability rate observed in stroke patients. Microglia are considered to be the main causative agents of inflammatory injury following cerebral infarction, as they secrete various inflammatory cytokines and cytotoxic factors. The aim of the present study was to identify novel methods for attenuating inflammatory injury and improving the prognosis of stroke patients. Lipopolysaccharide-stimulated microglia were treated using propofol in vitro and a transient middle cerebral artery occlusion/reperfusion model was constructed in rats. Expression of cytotoxic factors, microglia proliferation and the neuroprotective effects of propofol were measured in vitro and in vivo. The in vitro studies demonstrated that propofol inhibits the expression of multiple cytotoxic factors, prevents structural changes to cytoskeletal proteins, and suppresses microglial migration via the adenosineA2b receptors. The results of the in vivo experiments revealed that propofol inhibits the abnormal proliferation of microglia, as well as reduces the expression levels of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β, tumor necrosis factor α, and the cytotoxic factor nitric oxide through the A2b receptor. In conclusion, propofol inhibited the excessive activation of microglia through the A2b receptor and attenuated the inflammatory injury following cerebral infarction. The current study may provide a reliable basis for further clinical studies on propofol and its putative role in improving the prognosis of patients with cerebral infarction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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