European Journal of Anaesthesiology

Original Article
(RD) Surgery

The effect of propofol on the neutrophil respiratory burst

P. G. Murphy a1, A. J. Ogilvy a2 and S. M. Whiteley a1c1
a1 Department of Anaesthesia, The General Infirmary at Leeds, Great George Street, Leeds, UK
a2 University Department of Anaesthesia, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester, UK

Article author query
murphy pg   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
ogilvy aj   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
whiteley sm   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


We have examined the effect of propofol on the neutrophil respiratory burst. Chemiluminescence was used as a measure of the respiratory burst following stimulation with 10−5M N-formyl-L-methionyl-L-leucyl-L-phenylalanine.Propofol 1.25, 2.5 and 5.0 × 10−5M inhibited neutrophil chemiluminescence by 29.6, 43.0 and 57.6%, respectively, in neutrophils prepared from healthy adult volunteers, and by 25.5, 37.4 and 54.7% in cells from patients with severe sepsis. We conclude that propofol interferes with the ability of human neutrophils to generate reactive oxygen species.

(Published Online August 4 2006)
(Accepted November 1995)

Key Words: anaesthetics; intravenous; propofol; neutrophils; respiratory burst.

c1 Correspondence: Dr S. M. Whiteley.