Evidence has shown that propofol may cause widespread apoptotic neurodegeneration. Hypoxic preconditioning has been demonstrated to provide neuroprotection and brain recovery from both acute and chronic neurodegeneration in several cellular and animal models. However, the mechanism has not been well elucidated. Therefore, the present study was designed to investigate the expression of glucose transporters (GLUT1 and GLUT3) and mitochondrial division and fusion (Drp1 and Mfn2) proteins in rats exposed to hypoxic preconditioning to attenuate propofol neurotoxicity.


Propofol (100 mg/kg) was given to 7-day-old Sprague-Dawley rats; in some rats, hypoxic preconditioning was administered before intraperitoneal propofol injection by subjecting rats to five cycles of 10 min of hypoxia (8% O2) and 10 min of normoxia (21% O2). Then, the rats were allowed to breathe room air for 2 h. Neuronal mitochondrial morphology was observed by transmission electron microscopy. ATP content was detected using an ATP assay kit. The expression levels of GLUT1, GLUT3, pDrp1, Drp1 and Mfn2 were detected by Western blot, and the expression levels of GLUT1 and GLUT3 were further examined by immunohistochemistry.


Propofol damaged mitochondria, and decreased ATP content and GLUT3 and pDrp1 protein expression. However, our results suggested that hypoxic preconditioning could attenuate propofol neurotoxicity by reducing mitochondrial damage and increasing ATP content and pDrp1, GLUT1 and GLUT3 protein expression.


Hypoxic preconditioning reduced propofol-induced damage in the hippocampus of neonatal rats by attenuating the increase in mitochondrial division and decrease in GLUT3 expression.

Read More