The inhalation anesthetic desflurane induces caspase activation and increases amyloid β-protein levels under hypoxic conditions

Bin Zhang, Yuanlin Dong, Guohua Zhang, Robert D. Moir, Weiming Xia, Yun Yue, Ming Tian, Deborah J. Culley, Gregory Crosby, Rudolph E. Tanzi, Zhongcong Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations

Abstract

Perioperative factors including hypoxia, hypocapnia, and certain anesthetics have been suggested to contribute to Alzheimer disease (AD) neuropathogenesis. Desflurane is one of the most commonly used inhalation anesthetics. However, the effects of desflurane on AD neuropathogenesis have not been previously determined. Here, we set out to assess the effects of desflurane and hypoxia on caspase activation, amyloid precursor protein (APP) processing, and amyloid β-protein (Aβ) generation in H4 human neuroglioma cells (H4 naïve cells) as well as those overexpressing APP (H4-APP cells). Neither 12% desflurane nor hypoxia (18% O2) alone affected caspase-3 activation, APP processing, and Aβ generation. However, treatment with a combination of 12% desflurane and hypoxia (18% O2) (desflurane/hypoxia) for 6 h induced caspase-3 activation, altered APP processing, and increased Aβ generation in H4-APP cells. Desflurane/hypoxia also increased levels of β-site APP-cleaving enzyme in H4-APP cells. In addition, desflurane/hypoxia-induced Aβ generation could be reduced by the broad caspase inhibitor benzyloxycarbonyl-VAD. Finally, the Aβ aggregation inhibitor clioquinol and γ-secretase inhibitor L-685,458 attenuated caspase-3 activation induced by desflurane/hypoxia. In summary, desflurane can induce Aβ production and caspase activation, but only in the presence of hypoxia. Pending in vivo confirmation, these data may have profound implications for anesthesia care in elderly patients, and especially those with AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11866-11875
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume283
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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