Kinetic characteristics of propofol-induced inhibition of electron-transfer chain and fatty acid oxidation in human and rodent skeletal and cardiac muscles

Autoři: Tomáš Urban aff001;  Petr Waldauf aff001;  Adéla Krajčová aff001;  Kateřina Jiroutková aff001;  Milada Halačová aff001;  Valér Džupa aff002;  Libor Janoušek aff003;  Eva Pokorná aff004;  František Duška aff001
Působiště autorů: OXYLAB – Mitochondrial Physiology Lab: Charles University, 3 Faculty of Medicine and FNKV University Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic aff001;  Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Charles University, 3 Faculty of Medicine and FNKV University Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic aff002;  Transplantation Surgery Department, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Prague, Czech Republic aff003;  Department of Organ Recovery and Transplantation Databases, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Prague, Czech Republic aff004
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0217254



Propofol causes a profound inhibition of fatty acid oxidation and reduces spare electron transfer chain capacity in a range of human and rodent cells and tissues–a feature that might be related to the pathogenesis of Propofol Infusion Syndrome. We aimed to explore the mechanism of propofol-induced alteration of bioenergetic pathways by describing its kinetic characteristics.


We obtained samples of skeletal and cardiac muscle from Wistar rat (n = 3) and human subjects: vastus lateralis from hip surgery patients (n = 11) and myocardium from brain-dead organ donors (n = 10). We assessed mitochondrial functional indices using standard SUIT protocol and high resolution respirometry in fresh tissue homogenates with or without short-term exposure to a range of propofol concentration (2.5–100 μg/ml). After finding concentrations of propofol causing partial inhibition of a particular pathways, we used that concentration to construct kinetic curves by plotting oxygen flux against substrate concentration during its stepwise titration in the presence or absence of propofol. By spectrophotometry we also measured the influence of the same propofol concentrations on the activity of isolated respiratory complexes.


We found that human muscle and cardiac tissues are more sensitive to propofol-mediated inhibition of bioenergetic pathways than rat’s tissue. In human homogenates, palmitoyl carnitine-driven respiration was inhibited at much lower concentrations of propofol than that required for a reduction of electron transfer chain capacity, suggesting FAO inhibition mechanism different from downstream limitation or carnitine-palmitoyl transferase-1 inhibition. Inhibition of Complex I was characterised by more marked reduction of Vmax, in keeping with non-competitive nature of the inhibition and the pattern was similar to the inhibition of Complex II or electron transfer chain capacity. There was neither inhibition of Complex IV nor increased leak through inner mitochondrial membrane with up to 100 μg/ml of propofol. If measured in isolation by spectrophotometry, propofol 10 μg/ml did not affect the activity of any respiratory complexes.


In human skeletal and heart muscle homogenates, propofol in concentrations that are achieved in propofol-anaesthetized patients, causes a direct inhibition of fatty acid oxidation, in addition to inhibiting flux of electrons through inner mitochondrial membrane. The inhibition is more marked in human as compared to rodent tissues.

Klíčová slova:

Bioenergetics – Cardiac muscles – Fatty acids – Mitochondria – Oxidation – Oxygen – Rodents – Skeletal muscles


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2019 Číslo 10