Hydrogen inhalation decreases lung graft injury in brain-dead donor rats

J Heart Lung Transplant. 2013 Feb;32(2):251-8. doi: 10.1016/j.healun.2012.11.007. Epub 2012 Dec 28.


Background: The process of brain death induces acute lung injury in donors and aggravates ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) in grafts. Hydrogen, a new anti-oxidant, attenuates IRI in several organ transplant models. We examined whether 2% inhaled hydrogen would show favorable effects on lung grafts from brain-dead donor rats.

Methods: Brain-dead donor rats inhaled mixed gases with either 50% oxygen and 50% nitrogen or mixed gases with 2% hydrogen, 50% oxygen and 48% nitrogen for 2 hours. The recipients inhaled the same gas as the donors and were euthanized 2 hours after lung transplantation.

Results: Hydrogen improved PaO(2)/FIO(2) and PVO(2)/FIO(2) from the arterial and pulmonary venous blood in recipients and decreased the lung injury score in grafts from brain-dead donors. Hydrogen decreased the amount of IL-8 and TNF-α in serum, inhibited the activity of malondialdehyde and myeloperoxidase, and increased the activity of superoxide dismutase in the lung grafts from brain-dead donors. Furthermore, hydrogen decreased the apoptotic index of the cells and inhibited the protein expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and caspase-3 in lung grafts from brain-dead donors.

Conclusions: Hydrogen can exert protective effects on lung grafts from brain-dead donors through anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-apoptotic mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Lung Injury / prevention & control*
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Brain Death
  • Caspase 1 / blood
  • Hydrogen / pharmacology*
  • In Situ Nick-End Labeling
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-8 / blood
  • Lung Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control*
  • Tissue Donors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood


  • Antioxidants
  • Interleukin-8
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Hydrogen
  • Caspase 1