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Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Intravenous Anesthetics on Endotoxemia

[ Vol. 5 , Issue. 3 ]


Takumi Taniguchi and Ken Yamamoto   Pages 241 - 245 ( 5 )


Endotoxemia and endotoxin shock are common problems in the intensive care unit and carry a very high mortality rate. Endotoxemia increases production of endogenous cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-1 (IL-1), IL-6, and IL-8. Not only endotoxin but also cytokines have been implicated as important factors in the pathophysiology of endotoxic shock and the development of cardiovascular dysfunction in endotoxemia. Recently, it has been shown both in vitro and in vivo that several intravenous anesthetics have anti-inflammatory effects. Thiopental and ketamine inhibit the endotoxininduced TNF-alpha, IL-1 and IL-8 responses and increase IL-10 release in vitro. Ketamine prevent the proinflammatory cytokine (TNF-alpha, IL-1, and IL-6) responses to endotoxemia in vivo. Moreover, thiopental and ketamine suppress the activation of nuclear factor-kappa B induced by endotoxin. Propofol have been proven its anti-inflammatory effects on endotoxemia both in vitro and in vivo, but several studies have shown that propofol does not have any anti-inflammatory effects and deteriorates the inflammatory response to endotoxemia. This article reviews the anti-inflammatory effects of intravenous anesthetics on endotoxemia and endotoxic shock.


anesthetics, cytokine, endotoxin, inflammation, lipopolysaccharide, nuclear factor-kappa b, shock


Department of Emergency and Critical Care Medicine, Graduate school of Medical Science,Kanazawa University, 13-1 Takara-machi, Kanazawa 920-8641, Japan.

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