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NCTR Research Highlights

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Current Highlight from April 11, 2014

Propofol-Induced Neurotoxicity in Rat Neural Stem Cells

Scientists from NCTR, CDER, and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences have shown that clinically relevant concentrations of propofol induce dose-dependent adverse effects on rat embryonic neural stem cells in vitro.  Treatment of isolated neural stem cells with 50 µM propofol resulted in fewer dividing cells, increased oxidative DNA damage, and reduced mitochondrial function.  Co-treatment with the antioxidant L-carnitine effectively blocked the oxidative damage of propofol and at least some of the toxicity.  Propofol is a widely used anesthetic in clinical practice and similar to other anesthetics, such as ketamine, has been implicated in neural cell death in neonatal animals.  This study is now available online at Neurotoxicologydisclaimer icon.

For additional information, please contact Cheng Wang, Ph.D., Division of Neurotoxicology, FDA/NCTR, or Merle Paule, Ph.D., Director, Division of Neurotoxicology, FDA/NCTR.



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National Center for Toxicological Research

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