Therapeutic concentrations of propofol protects mouse macrophages from nitric oxide-induced cell death and apoptosis

David Hochberg, Christopher W. Johnson, Jie Chen, Drorit Cohen, Joshua Stern, E. Darracott Vaughan, Dix Poppas, Diane Felsen

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43 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate the potential effect of a clinically relevant concentration of propofol (PPF) on cell viability and nitric oxide-induced macrophage apoptosis. Methods: Mouse macrophages (cell line Raw 264.7) were cultured and incubated with a nitric oxide donor sodium nitroprusside (SNP), PPF, and a combination of PPF and SNP for one, six and 24 hr. Cell viability was determined by the colorimetric 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. Apoptotic cells were determined by analyzing the percentages of sub-GI phase in macrophages. The amounts of nitric oxide were assayed. Results: The amounts of nitric oxide in macrophages were increased with time when incubated with SNP (P < 0.05). Simultaneously, SNP caused cell death of macrophages in a concentration-and time-dependent manner (P < 0.05). PPF per se did not alter the amount of basal and SNP-provided nitric oxide in macrophages. A therapeutic concentration of PPF (30 μM) exhibited no cytotoxicity. After incubation with SNP for one and six hours, PPF could completely or partially block nitric oxide-induced cell death, respectively (P < 0.05). Administration of SNP to macrophages resulted in a time-dependent pattern of increase of apoptotic cells (P < 0.05). Similar to the results of the cell viability analyses, PPF was able to protect macrophages from nitric oxide-induced apoptosis in one and six hour-treated groups (P < 0.05) but not in the 24 hr treated group. Conclusion: PPF, at a therapeutic concentration, can protect mouse macrophages in vitro from nitric oxide-induced cell apoptosis as well as cell death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-480
Number of pages4
JournalCanadian Journal of Anesthesia
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Cite this

Hochberg, D., Johnson, C. W., Chen, J., Cohen, D., Stern, J., Vaughan, E. D., ... Felsen, D. (2002). Therapeutic concentrations of propofol protects mouse macrophages from nitric oxide-induced cell death and apoptosis. Canadian Journal of Anesthesia, 49(5), 477-480.