Background: Recent studies show that molecular hydrogen (dihydrogen, H2) has potential as an effective and safe radioprotective agent through reducing oxidative stress. The aim of this study was to investigate whether H2 is able to protect spermatogenesis and hematopoiesis from radiation-induced injuries.
Material/methods: H2 was dissolved in physiological saline using an apparatus produced by our department. -60Co-gamma rays in the irradiation centre were used for irradiation. Spermatid head counts and histological analysis were used to evaluate spermatogenesis. Endogenous hematopoietic spleen colony formation (endoCFUs), bone marrow nucleated cells (BMNC) and peripheral blood (PB) leukocytes were used to evaluate hemopoiesis.
Results: This study demonstrates that treating mice with H2 before ionizing radiation (IR) can increase the spermatid head count and protect seminiferous epithelium from IR. This study also demonstrates that H2 could significantly increase the number of endoCFUs, BMNC and PB leukocyte.
Conclusions: This study suggests that hydrogen-rich saline could partially protect spermatogenesis and hematopoiesis in irradiated mice.