Figure 3. Down-regulation of circLrp1b enhances the effects of dexmedetomidine in reducing traumatic brain injury-induced autophagy and inflammation. Rats were administered an intracerebroventricular injection of sh-circLrp1b before traumatic brain injury (TBI) induction, followed by intraperitoneal injection of 20 μg/kg dexmedetomidine (DEX). (A) Expression levels of Dram2, ATG5, Beclin-1, p62, LC3 I/II, caspase-1, and NLRP3 proteins, as measured by western blot. (B) Representative electron microscopic images of autophagosomes of hippocampal tissues obtained from different animal groups. The images of the immunohistochemical staining of caspase-1 (C) and NLRP3 (D) are presented. Scale bar: 50 μm. (E) Quantitative analysis of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) detection of TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1β production in the hippocampal tissues. Each experiment was repeated 6 times. **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.001, compared with Sham; #p < 0.05, ##p < 0.01, compared with TBI + NC; &p < 0.05, &&p < 0.01, compared with TBI + sh-circLrp1b.