Archives of Pharmacal Research

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 556–565 | Cite as

Propofol treatment modulates neurite extension regulated by immunologically challenged rat primary astrocytes: a possible role of PAI-1

  • Hyun Myung Ko
  • So Hyun Joo
  • Sung Hoon Lee
  • Hee Jin Kim
  • Seung-Hyun Lee
  • Jae Hoon Cheong
  • Jong Hoon Ryu
  • Jeong Min Kim
  • Bon-Nyeo KooEmail author
  • Chan Young ShinEmail author
Research Article


Propofol, a widely used anesthetic, regulates neurological processes including neurotoxicity, neuroprotection, glial activation, synaptic plasticity and neuronal maturation. Tissue plasminogen activator/tissue plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (tPA/PAI-1) in CNS acts as a neuromodulator regulating synaptic plasticity, neurite outgrowth, seizure spreading and cell survival. Here, we investigated the effects of propofol on tPA/PAI-1 system using cultured neurons and astrocytes and their role in the regulation of neurite extension. Cultured rat primary astrocytes were treated with propofol (1–10 µM) and LPS (10 ng/ml). The expression of functional tPA/PAI-1 was examined by casein zymography, Western blot and RT-PCR. Alternatively, culture supernatants were added to cultured rat primary neuron to investigate the effects on neurite extension. Propofol alone did not affect tPA activity in rat primary cortical neuron. Similarly, propofol alone changed neither tPA nor PAI-1 activity in rat primary astrocytes. In immunologically challenged situation using LPS, propofol synergistically increased expression of PAI-1 in rat primary astrocytes without affecting tPA expression in a manner dependent on MAPKs activation. Increased expression of PAI-1 reduced tPA activity in LPS plus propofol-treated rat primary astrocytes. Consistent with the critical role of tPA activity in the regulation of neurite extension (Cho et al. 2013), the diminished tPA activity in astrocyte culture supernatants resulted in decreased neurite extension when administered to cultured rat primary cortical neuron. The results from the present study suggest that propofol, especially in immunologically-challenged situation, dysregulates tPA/PAI-1 system in brain. Whether the dysregulated tPA/PAI-1 activity adversely affects neural differentiation as well as regeneration of neuron in vivo should be empirically determined in the future.


Propofol tPA PAI-1 Neurite extension 



This work was supported by a grant of the Korean Health Technology R&D Project, Ministry of health & welfare, Republic of Korea (No. A120029) and was also supported in part by the Faculty Research assistance Program of Yonsei University College of Medicine for 2013 (6-2013-0145).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© The Pharmaceutical Society of Korea 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyun Myung Ko
    • 1
  • So Hyun Joo
    • 1
  • Sung Hoon Lee
    • 1
  • Hee Jin Kim
    • 3
  • Seung-Hyun Lee
    • 2
  • Jae Hoon Cheong
    • 3
  • Jong Hoon Ryu
    • 4
  • Jeong Min Kim
    • 5
  • Bon-Nyeo Koo
    • 5
    Email author
  • Chan Young Shin
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Neuroscience, School of Medicine and Neuroscience Research Center, Institute SMART-IABSKonkuk UniversitySeoulKorea
  2. 2.Department of Immunology, School of MedicineKonkuk UniversitySeoulKorea
  3. 3.Department of PharmacySahmyook UniversitySeoulKorea
  4. 4.Department of Oriental Pharmaceutical ScienceKyung Hee UniversitySeoulKorea
  5. 5.Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Anesthesia and Pain Research InstituteYonsei University College of MedicineSeoulKoera

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