Hydrogen (dihydrogen; H(2)) has an antiatherosclerotic effect in apolipoprotein (apo) E knockout mice. The goals of this study were to further characterize the effects of H(2) on the content, composition, and biological activities of plasma lipoproteins in golden hamsters. Plasma analysis by enzymatic method and fast protein liquid chromatography showed that 4-week intraperitoneal injection of hydrogen-saturated saline remarkably decreased plasma total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels in high-fat diet-fed hamsters. Sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis of apolipoproteins from ultracentrifugally isolated plasma lipoproteins revealed a marked decrease of apo B100 and apo B48 in LDL. A profound decrease of apo E level in very low-density lipoprotein was also observed. Besides, we determined the functional quality of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles isolated from H(2)-treated and control mice. H(2) significantly improved HDL functionality assessed in 2 independent ways, namely, (1) stimulation of cholesterol efflux from macrophage foam cells by measuring HDL-induced [(3)H]cholesterol efflux and (2) protection against LDL oxidation as a measure of Cu(2+)-induced thiobarbituric acid reactive substances formation. Administration of hydrogen-saturated saline decreases plasma LDL cholesterol and apo B levels and improves hyperlipidemia-injured HDL functions, including the capacity of enhancing cellular cholesterol efflux and playing antioxidative properties, in high-fat diet-fed hamsters.
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