Propofol postconditioning ameliorates hypoxia/reoxygenation induced H9c2 cell apoptosis and autophagy via upregulating forkhead transcription factors under hyperglycemia

Rong Hui Han, He Meng Huang, Hong Han, Hao Chen, Fei Zeng, Xiang Xie, Dan Yong Liu, Yin Cai, Liang Qing Zhang, Xin Liu, Zheng Yuan Xia, Jing Tang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Administration of propofol, an intravenous anesthetic with antioxidant property, immediately at the onset of post-ischemic reperfusion (propofol postconditioning, P-PostC) has been shown to confer cardioprotection against ischemia–reperfusion injury, while the underlying mechanism remains incompletely understood. The FoxO transcription factors are reported to play critical roles in activating cardiomyocyte survival signaling throughout the process of cellular injuries induced by oxidative stress and are also involved in hypoxic postconditioning mediated neuroprotection, however, the role of FoxO in postconditioning mediated protection in the heart and in particular in high glucose condition is unknown. Methods: Rat heart-derived H9c2 cells were exposed to high glucose (HG) for 48 h (h), then subjected to hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R, composed of 8 h of hypoxia followed by 12 h of reoxygenation) in the absence or presence of postconditioning with various concentrations of propofol (P-PostC) at the onset of reoxygenation. After having identified the optical concentration of propofol, H9c2 cells were subjected to H/R and P-PostC in the absence or presence of FoxO1 or FoxO3a gene silencing to explore their roles in P-PostC mediated protection against apoptotic and autophagic cell deaths under hyperglycemia. Results: The results showed that HG with or without H/R decreased cell viability, increased lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) leakage and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in H9c2 cells, all of which were significantly reversed by propofol (P-PostC), especially at the concentration of 25 µmol/L (P25) (all P < 0.05, NC vs. HG; HG vs. HG + HR; HG + HR + P12.5 or HG + HR + P25 or HG + HR + P50 vs. HG + HR). Moreover, we found that propofol (P25) decreased H9c2 cells apoptosis and autophagy that were concomitant with increased FoxO1 and FoxO3a expression (all P < 0.05, HG + HR + P25 vs. HG + HR). The protective effects of propofol (P25) against H/R injury were reversed by silencing FoxO1 or FoxO3a (all P < 0.05, HG + HR + P25 vs. HG + HR + P25 + siRNA-1 or HG + HR + P25 + siRNA-5). Conclusion: It is concluded that propofol postconditioning attenuated H9c2 cardiac cells apoptosis and autophagy induced by H/R injury through upregulating FoxO1 and FoxO3a under hyperglycemia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number58
JournalMilitary Medical Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Apoptosis
  • Autophagy
  • FoxO
  • H/R injury
  • Hyperglycemia
  • P-PostC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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