Apoptosis is a programmed, physiologic mode of cell death that plays an important role in tissue homeostasis. As for the central nervous system, ischemic insults can induce pathophysiologic cascade of apoptosis in neurophils. Impairment of astroctye functions during brain ischemia can critically influence neuron survival by neuronglia interactions. We aimed to elucidate the protective effect of ketamine on apoptosis by energy deprivation in astrocytes. Ischemic insults was induced with iodoacetate/carbonylcyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone (IAA/CCCP) 1.5 mM/20 µM or 150 µM/2 µM for 1 hr in the HTB-15 and CRL-1690 astrocytoma cells. Then these cells were reperfused with normal media or ketamine (0.1 mM) containing media for 1 hr or 24 hr. FITC-annexin-V staining and propidium iodide binding were determined by using flow cytometry. Cell size and granularity were measured by forward and side light scattering properties of flow cytometry system, respectively. An addition of ketamine during reperfusion increased the proportion of viable cells. Ketamine alleviated cell shrinkage and increased granularity during the early period, and ameliorated cell swelling during the late reperfusion period. Ketamine may have a valuable effect on amelioration of early and late apoptosis in the astrocytoma cells, even though the exact mechanism remains to be verified.
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