Molecular hydrogen, which reacts with the hydroxyl radical, has been considered as a novel antioxidant. Here, we evaluated the protective effects of hydrogen-rich saline on the l-arginine (l-Arg)-induced acute pancreatitis (AP). AP was induced in Sprague-Dawley rats by giving two intraperitoneal injections of l-Arg, each at concentrations of 250mg/100g body weight, with an interval of 1h. Hydrogen-rich saline (>0.6mM, 6ml/kg) or saline (6ml/kg) was administered, respectively, via tail vein 15min after each l-Arg administration. Severity of AP was assessed by analysis of serum amylase activity, pancreatic water content and histology. Samples of pancreas were taken for measuring malondialdehyde and myeloperoxidase. Apoptosis in pancreatic acinar cell was determined with terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling technique (TUNEL). Expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) were detected with immunohistochemistry. Hydrogen-rich saline treatment significantly attenuated the severity of l-Arg-induced AP by ameliorating the increased serum amylase activity, inhibiting neutrophil infiltration, lipid oxidation and pancreatic tissue edema. Moreover, hydrogen-rich saline treatment could promote acinar cell proliferation, inhibit apoptosis and NF-kappaB activation. These results indicate that hydrogen treatment has a protective effect against AP, and the effect is possibly due to its ability to inhibit oxidative stress, apoptosis, NF-kappaB activation and to promote acinar cell proliferation.
2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.