The Effects of Dexmedetomidine and Propofol on the Antioxidant System

Haluk Dülger 1 * , Hediye Kelemençe 2, Uğur Göktaş 3, M. Ramazan Şekeroğlu 2, İsmail Katı 3, Serpil Özcan 2, Fatma Çorcu Baran 2
More Detail
1 Selçuk Üniversitesi Meram Tıp Fakültesi, Biyokimya Anabilim Dalı, Konya
2 Yüzüncü Yıl Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Biyokimya Anabilim Dalı, Van
3 Yüzüncü Yıl Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Anesteziyoloji ve Reanimasyon Anabilim Dalı, Van, Turkey
* Corresponding Author
EUR J BASIC MED SCI, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp. 21-27.
Download Full Text (PDF)


The effects of many intravenous drugs, which are used for sedation anesthesia, on free radicals are well known. Two of these drugs are propofol and dexmedetomidine. This study was designed to investigate the effects of dexmedetomidine and propofol on the oxidant and antioxidant systems. Subjects were divided into two groups. Propofol were given to the first group (n=19) and dexmedetomidine to the second group (n=13) for sedation. Blood pressure and heart rate were recorded and serum ALT (alanine aminotransferase), AST (aspartate aminotransferase), creatinine, BUN (blood urea nitrogen), MDA (malondialdehyde), catalase and GSH-Px (glutathione peroxidase) were measured before and 2 hours and 2 days after the drug administration. When propofol and dexmedetomidine groups were compared in terms of blood pressure, heart rate, serum AST, ALT, BUN and creatinin values no statistically significant difference was detected. In propofol group MDA values decreased significantly (p<0.05) and GSH-Px values increased significantly (p<0.01) both in early and late phases following cessation of drug infusion when compared to before infusion. In dexmedetomidine group serum MDA, catalase and GSH-Px values did not alter significantly following cessation drug infusion. Propofol was found effective inprevention of oxidative damage and thus decreased serum MDA values and increased GSH-Px levels. Similarly dexmedetomidine had antioxidant effects. However, we thought that more comprehensive work including larger population requires to verify this conclusion.


Dülger H, Kelemençe H, Göktaş U, Şekeroğlu MR, Katı İ, Özcan S, et al. The Effects of Dexmedetomidine and Propofol on the Antioxidant System. Eur J Basic Med Sci. 2011;1(1):21-7.


  • Dikmen B, Erk G, Et G, et al. Propofol/Remifentanil anestezisi ile sevofluran anestezisinin insan eritrositlerindeki oksidan ve antioksidan sistem üzerine etkileri. Türkiye Klinikleri J Anest Reanim 2005; 3:5-20.
  • Ansley DM, Lee J, Godin DV, Garnett ME, Qayumi AK. Propofol enhances red cell antioxidant capacity in swine and humans. Can J Anaesth 1998; 45:233-9.
  • Bao YB, Williamson G, Tew D. Antioxidant effects of propofol in human hepatic microsomes: concentration effects and clinical significance. Br J Anaesth 1998; 81:584-9.
  • Manataki AD, Tselepis AD, Glantzounis GK, Arnaoutoglou HM, Tsimoyiannis EC, Stavropoulos NE. Lipid peroxidation and the use of emulsified propofol in laparoscopic surgery. Surg Endosc 2001; 15:950-3.
  • Foulis PR, Sandford BH, Gottfried M. Drug induced morphologic changes in the liver. Ann Clin Lab Sci 1998; 18:215-28.
  • Sinclair AJ, Barnet AH, Lunec J. Free radicals and antioxidant systems in health and disease. Br J Hosp Med 1990; 43:334-44.
  • Maxwell SRJ. Prospects for the use of antioxidant therapies. Drugs 1995; 49:315-61.
  • Günaydın B, Çelebi H. Genel anesteziklerin serbest radikaller ve antioksidanlarla ilişkileri. Anestezi Dergisi 2003; 11(2):87-98.
  • Bryson HM, Fulton BR, Faulds D. Propofol. An update of its use in anaesthesia and conscious sedation. Drugs 1995; 50:513-59.
  • Murphy PG, Myers DS, Davies MJ, Webster NJ, Jones JG. The antioxidant potential of propofol (2,6, diisopropylphenol). Br J Anaesth 1992; 68:613-8.
  • Green TR, Bennet SR, Nelson VM. Specifiticy and properties of propofol as an antioxidant free radical scavenger. Toxicol App Pharmacol 1994; 129:163-9.
  • O’Donnell NG, McSharpy CP, Wilkinson PC, Asbury AJ. Comparison of the inhibitory effect of propofol, thiopentone and midazolam on neutrophil polarization in vitro in the presence or absence of human serum albumin. Br J Anaesth 1992; 69:70-4.
  • Jensen AG, Dahlgren C, Eintrei C. Propofol decreases random and chemotactic stimulated locomotion of human neutrophils in vitro. Br J Anaesth 1993; 70:99-100.
  • Mikawa K, Akamatsu H, Nishina K et al. Propofol inhibits human neutrophil functions. Anaesth Analg 1998; 87:695-700.
  • Duke P, Maze M, Morrison P. Dexmedetomidine: a general overview. International Congress and symposium series Redifining Sedation 1998; 221:11-22.
  • Ebert TJ, Hall JE, Barney JA, Uhrich TD, Colinco MD. The effects of increasing plasma concentrations of dexmedetomidine in humans. Anesthesiology 2000; 93:382-94.
  • Talke P, Chen R, Thomas B, et al. The hemodynamic and adrenerjic effects of perioperative dexmedetomidine infusion after vascular surgery. Anesth Analg 2000; 90:834-9.
  • Tobias JD. Controlled hypotension in children: A critical review of available agents. Pediatric Drugs 2002; 47:439-53.
  • Nishina K, Akamatsu H, Mikawa K, et al. The effects of Clonidine and Dexmedetomidine on Human Neutrophil Functions. Anesth Analg 1999; 88:452-8.
  • Wasowicz W, Nève J, Peretz A. Optimized steps in fluorometric determination of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances in serum: importance of extraction pH and influence of sample preservation and storage. Clin Chem 1993; 39(12):2522-6.
  • Paglia DE, Valentive WN. Studies on the avantitaue and gualitative characterization of erytrocyte glutathione peroxidase. J Lab Clin Med 1967; 158-69.
  • Goth L. A simple method for determation of serum catyalase activation and revision of reference range. Clin Chim Acta 1991; 196:143-51.
  • Noronha-Dutra AA, Epperlein MM, Woolf N. Reduction of nitric oxide with hydrogen peroxide to produce potentially cytotoxicsinglet oxygen as a model for nitric oxidemediated killing. FEBS Lett 1993; 321:59-62.
  • Moudgil GC. Effects of premedicants, intravenous anaesthetic agents and local anaesthetic on phagocytosis in vitro. Can Anaesth Soc J 1981; 28:597-602.
  • White IWC, Gelb AW, Wexler HR, Stiller CR, Keown PA. The effects of intravenous anaesthetics agents on human neutrophil chemiluminescense. Can Anaesth Soc J 1983; 30(5):506-11.
  • Krumholz W, Endrass J, Hempalmann G. Propofol inhibits phagocytosis and killing of Staphylocossus aureus and Ecshericia Coli by polymorhonuclear leukocytes in vitro. Can J Anaesth 1994; 41:446-9.
  • Davidson JAH, Boom SJ, Pearsall FJ, Zhang P, Ramsay G. Comparison of the effects of four i.v. anaesthetic agents on polymorhonuclear leucocyte function. Br J Anaesth 1995; 74:315-8.
  • Aarts L, Van Der Hee R, Dekker I, De Jong J, Langemeijer H, Bast A. The widely used anesthetic agent propofol can replace a tocopherol as an antioxidant. FEBS Lett 1995; 357:83-5.
  • Mussachio E, Rizzoli V, Bianchi M, Bindoli A, Galzigna L. Antioxidant acction of propofol on liver microsomes, mitochondria and brain synaptosomes in the rat. Pharmacol Toxicol 1991; 69:75-7.
  • Kahraman S, Demiryürek AT. Propofol is a peroxynitrite scavenger. Anesth Analg 1997; 84:1127-9.
  • Kokita N, Hara A. Propofol attenuates hydrogen peroxide mechanicaland metabolic derangements in the isolated rat heart. Anesthesiology 1996; 84:117-27.
  • Toivonen HJ, Ahotupa M. Free radical reaction products and antioxidant capacity in arterial plasma during coronary artery bypass grafting. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 1994; 108:140-7.
  • Şekeroğlu MR, Huyut Z, Dulger HH, Dilek I. The susceptibility of autoxidation of erythrocytes during storage of Blood: Effects of melatonin and propofol. AACC Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo, Clinical Chemistry (Supplement), Washington DC, 2008; Vol.54(6), A-28.