The Journal of veterinary medical science

A comparison of the immunological effects of propofol and isoflurane for maintenance of anesthesia in healthy dogs.

PMID 25960120


Most anesthetics have an immuno-suppressive effect on cellular and neurohumoral immunity, and research shows that total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA) with propofol has a greater immuno-protective effect than inhalational anesthesia in human medicine. However, in veterinary clinics, these effects remain ambiguous. To clarify the details, we focused on propofol and isoflurane, investigating clinical blood hematology and immunological profiles drawn from healthy dogs under and after two anesthesia techniques. Twelve healthy adult beagles were included in this study, randomly assigned to the propofol anesthesia group (group P: n=6) or the isoflurane anesthesia group (group I: n=6). In both groups, the number of lymphocytes in peripheral blood decreased after 2 hr of anesthesia (2 hr), but group P showed significantly less decrease than group I. For T-lymphocyte subsets examined by flowcytometry, the ratio of CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes in the peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) of group P at 2 hr also exhibited a high level compared to group I. Moreover, for mRNA expression of cytokines measured by real-time PCR, the IL2 (pro-inflammatory cytokine) of group P showed no decrease like group I. The IL10 (anti-inflammatory cytokine) of group P also showed no increase like group I, while both cytokines maintained nearly the same level until 2 hr. These results suggest that, compared to propofol, isoflurane had more strongly immuno-suppression caused by anesthesia, and propofol itself might have some immuno-protective effects. Thus, TIVA with propofol might benefit immunological support in the perioperative period of dogs.