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Open Access Open Badges Original investigation

Propofol protects against high glucose-induced endothelial adhesion molecules expression in human umbilical vein endothelial cells

Minmin Zhu, Jiawei Chen, Hui Jiang and Changhong Miao*

Author Affiliations

Department of Anaesthesiology and Oncology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Centre, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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Cardiovascular Diabetology 2013, 12:13  doi:10.1186/1475-2840-12-13

Published: 11 January 2013



Hyperglycemia could induce oxidative stress, activate transcription factor nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), up-regulate expression of endothelial adhesion molecules, and lead to endothelial injury. Studies have indicated that propofol could attenuate oxidative stress and suppress NF-κB activation in some situations. In the present study, we examined whether and how propofol improved high glucose-induced up-regulation of endothelial adhesion molecules in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs).


Protein expression of endothelial adhesion molecules, NF-κB, inhibitory subunit of NF-κBα (IκBα), protein kinase Cβ2 (PKCβ2), and phosphorylation of PKCβ2 (Ser660) were measured by Western blot. NF-κB activity was measured by electrophoretic mobility shift assay. PKC activity was measured with SignaTECT PKC assay system. Superoxide anion (O2.-) accumulation was measured with the reduction of ferricytochrome c assay. Human peripheral mononuclear cells were prepared with Histopaque-1077 solution.


High glucose induced the expression of endothelial selectin (E-selectin), intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1), and increased mononuclear-endothelial adhesion. High glucose induced O2.- accumulation, PKCβ2 phosphorylation and PKC activation. Further, high glucose decreased IκBα expression in cytoplasm, increased the translocation of NF-κB from cytoplasm to nuclear, and induced NF-κB activation. Importantly, we found these high glucose-mediated effects were attenuated by propofol pretreatment. Moreover, CGP53353, a selective PKCβ2 inhibitor, decreased high glucose-induced NF-κB activation, adhesion molecules expression, and mononuclear-endothelial adhesion.


Propofol, via decreasing O2.- accumulation, down-regulating PKCβ2 Ser660 phosphorylation and PKC as well as NF-κB activity, attenuated high glucose-induced endothelial adhesion molecules expression and mononuclear-endothelial adhesion.

Propofol; High glucose; Adhesion molecules; NF-κB; HUVECs