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J Neurosurg Anesthesiol. 1996 Apr;8(2):154-8.

Effect of propofol on in vitro lipid peroxidation induced by different free radical generating systems: a comparison with vitamin E.

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Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, University Hospital of Li├Ęge, Belgium.


Propofol has been reported to have antioxidant properties and to inhibit lipid peroxidation. In this study, we examined the ability of propofol to inhibit lipid peroxidation induced by three free radical systems (hydroxyl, ferryl, and oxo-ferryl radicals), and we compared the effect of propofol with that of vitamin E, an endogenous antioxidant. Lipid peroxidation was induced by exposing a linoleic acid emulsion to either water gamma radiation, a ferrous iron-ascorbate solution, or human hemoglobin, generating the hydroxyl, ferryl, and oxo-ferryl radicals, respectively. Each experiment was performed in triplicate with and without propofol or vitamin E at concentrations between 10(-5) and 10(-4) M. Lipid peroxidation was quantified by gas chromatography measurement of the pentane released (nmoles) from lipid decomposition. In each condition, a significant dose-response relationship was found between the release of pentane and the concentration of either propofol or vitamin E. The antioxidant activities of both agents were similar but significantly higher against the hydroxyl than the ferryl and oxo-ferryl radicals. The study suggests that propofol could be beneficial as an anesthetic or sedative drug in patients presenting pathologies associated with free radical reactions.

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