The effect of hydrogen-rich saline on the brain of rats with transient ischemia

J Surg Res. 2011 Jun 1;168(1):e95-101. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2011.01.057. Epub 2011 Mar 2.


Background: Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, hydrogen gas (H(2)) has protective effects on a variety of organs from damage induced by ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). In this study, we tested the protective effect of hydrogen-rich saline on the brain in a global cerebral I/R model.

Materials and methods: We used a four-vessel occlusion model of global cerebral ischemia (15 min) and reperfusion with rats. The rats were divided into four groups (n = 96): sham, I/R plus physiologic saline injected intraperitoneally, I/R plus hydrogen-rich saline injected intraperitoneally at the beginning of reperfusion, and I/R plus hydrogen-rich saline injected intraperitoneally 6 h after reperfusion began. One group of rats was sacrificed after 24 h of reperfusion. Malondialdehyde (MDA) was measured to quantify the oxidative stress. Caspase-3 was measured to indicate the status of apoptosis. Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) were measured to monitor the inflammation. Another group of rats was sacrificed after 72 h of reperfusion to measure the histologic damages in hippocampus by hematoxylin and eosin staining and Nissl staining.

Results: Compared with rats with I/R only, hydrogen-rich saline treatment significantly improved the amount of surviving cells. NF-κB, TNF-α, IL-6, MDA, and caspase-3 were all increased significantly by I/R injury. Hydrogen-rich saline reduced all these markers.

Conclusions: Our data demonstrate that intraperitoneal injection of hydrogen-rich saline has strong protective effect on the transient global cerebral ischemia-reperfusion rats.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Caspase 3 / metabolism
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / metabolism*
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Hydrogen / administration & dosage
  • Hydrogen / pharmacology
  • Hydrogen / therapeutic use*
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / metabolism
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / pathology
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Models, Animal
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reperfusion Injury / metabolism
  • Reperfusion Injury / pathology
  • Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control*
  • Sodium Chloride / administration & dosage
  • Sodium Chloride / pharmacology
  • Sodium Chloride / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Interleukin-6
  • NF-kappa B
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Hydrogen
  • Caspase 3