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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2017, Article ID 9182748, 12 pages
Research Article

Effects of Propofol Treatment in Neural Progenitors Derived from Human-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Bo Long,1,2,3 Shenglan Li,1,3 Haipeng Xue,1,3 Li Sun,1,3,4 Dong H. Kim,1,3 and Ying Liu1,3,5

1Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery, McGovern Medical School, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, USA
2Department of Anesthesiology, Shengjing Hospital, China Medical University, Shenyang, China
3Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, USA
4Department of Oncology, Renji Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
5Senator Lloyd and B.A. Bentsen Center for Stroke Research, The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Bo Long; gro.latipsoh-js@bgnol and Ying Liu; ude.cmt.htu@uil.gniy

Received 6 June 2017; Revised 21 July 2017; Accepted 3 August 2017; Published 8 October 2017

Academic Editor: Yulong Li

Copyright © 2017 Bo Long et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Propofol is an intravenous anesthetic that has been widely used in clinics. Besides its anesthetic effects, propofol has also been reported to influence the regulation of the autonomic system. Controversies exist with regard to whether propofol exposure is safe for pregnant women and young children. In this work, human-induced pluripotent stem cell- (hiPSC-) derived neural progenitor cells (NPCs) were treated with propofol at 20, 50, 100, or 300 μM for 6 h or 24 h, and acute and subacute cell injury, cell proliferation, and apoptosis were evaluated. Comparison of genome-wide gene expression profiles was performed for treated and control iPSC-NPCs. Propofol treatment for 6 h at the clinically relevant concentration (20 or 50 μM) did not affect cell viability, apoptosis, or proliferation, while propofol at higher concentration (100 or 300 μM) decreased NPC viability and induced apoptosis. In addition, 20 μM propofol treatment for 6 h did not alter global gene expression. In summary, propofol treatment at commonly practiced clinical doses for 6 h did not have adverse effects on hiPSC-derived NPCs. In contrast, longer exposure and/or higher concentration could decrease NPC viability and induce apoptosis.