Propofol Attenuates a-Synuclein Aggregation and Neuronal Damage in a Mouse Model of Ischemic Stroke

Yuzhu Wang 1,2 • Dan Tian 2 • Changwei Wei 1 • Victoria Cui 3 • Huan Wang 2 • Yanbing Zhu 2 • Anshi Wu 1 • Yun Yue 1

1 Department of Anesthesiology, Beijing Chaoyang Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100020, China

2 Experimental and Translational Research Center, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100050, China

3 Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MI, USA


α-Synuclein is a soluble monomer abundant in the central nervous system. Aggregates of α-synuclein, consisting of higher-level oligomers and insoluble fibrils, have been observed in many chronic neurological diseases and are implicated in neurotoxicity and neurodegeneration. α-Synuclein has recently been shown to aggregate following acute ischemic stroke, exacerbating neuronal damage. Propofol is an intravenous anesthetic that is commonly used during intravascular embolectomy following acute ischemic stroke. While propofol has demonstrated neuroprotective properties following brain injury, the mechanism of protection in the setting of ischemic stroke is unclear. In this study, propofol administration significantly reduced the neurotoxic aggregation of α-synuclein, decreased the infarct area, and attenuated the neurological deficits after ischemic stroke in a mouse model. We then demonstrated that the propofol-induced reduction of α-synuclein aggregation was associated with increased mammalian target of rapamycin/ribosomal protein S6 kinase beta-1 signaling pathway activity and reduction of the excessive autophagy occurring after acute ischemic stroke.


Propofol; α-Synuclein; Autophagy; Stroke; Neuroprotection


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