Protection by hydrogen against gamma ray-induced testicular damage in rats

Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2013 Mar;112(3):186-91. doi: 10.1111/bcpt.12016. Epub 2012 Nov 1.


The aim of this study was to investigate the possible protective role of hydrogen-rich saline solution (HRSS) and WR-2721 on the testicular damage induced by irradiation. Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups. Group I served as control group. Rats in group II were exposed to the irradiation. The animals in group III and IV were injected intraperitoneally with HRSS (5 ml/kg) and WR-2721 (200 mg/kg), respectively, 15 min. before the start of gamma irradiation. Testis weight, testis dimensions, sperm count, sperm motility, apoptosis index and biochemical assays were assessed after a 4-day initiation of irradiation. Testis weight, testis dimensions, sperm count, sperm motility in group II were significantly lower compared with those in the control group, whereas they were higher in the HRSS and WR-2721 group. Apoptosis index was significantly increased in group II. Treatment of rats with HRSS and WR-2721 significantly reduced the apoptosis index. On the other hand, irradiation markedly decreased activities of SOD. Activities of SOD were significantly improved when treated with HRSS and WR-2721. Significant increase in the MDA level was observed in group II. MDA levels of group III and IV were significantly lowered when compared with group II. HRSS also played a significant role in the recovery of serum testosterone levels. The results from this experimental study suggest that hydrogen has a possible protective effect against radiation-induced testicular damage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Apoptosis / radiation effects
  • Gamma Rays / adverse effects*
  • Hydrogen / administration & dosage
  • Hydrogen / pharmacology
  • Hydrogen / therapeutic use*
  • In Situ Nick-End Labeling
  • Male
  • Radiation Injuries, Experimental / pathology
  • Radiation Injuries, Experimental / prevention & control*
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / administration & dosage
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / pharmacology
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sodium Chloride / chemistry
  • Solubility
  • Sperm Count
  • Sperm Motility / drug effects
  • Sperm Motility / radiation effects
  • Testis / drug effects*
  • Testis / injuries
  • Testis / pathology
  • Testis / radiation effects*
  • Testosterone / blood


  • Radiation-Protective Agents
  • Testosterone
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Hydrogen