Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate the potential antioxidative effect and mechanism for the protective effects of hydrogen saline on selenite-induced cataract in rats.
Methods: Sprague-Dawley rat pups were divided into the following groups: control (Group A), selenite induced (Group B), and selenite plus hydrogen saline treated (Group C). Rat pups in Groups B and C received a single subcutaneous injection of sodium selenite (25 μmol/kg bodyweight) on postnatal day 12. Group C also received an intraperitoneal injection of H2 saline (5 ml/kg bodyweight) daily from postnatal day 8 to postnatal day 17. The development of cataract was assessed weekly by slit-lamp examination for 2 weeks. After sacrifice, extricated lenses were analyzed for activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, and glutathione S-transferase, levels of malondialdehyde, reduced glutathione (GSH), and total sulfhydryl contents.
Results: The magnitude of lens opacification in Group B was significantly higher than in Group A (p<0.05), while Group C had less opacification than Group B (p<0.05). Compared with Group B, the mean activities of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, and glutathione S-transferase, levels of GSH, and total sulfhydryl contents were higher, whereas the level of malondialdehyde was lower following treatment with hydrogen saline(p<0.05).
Conclusions: This is an initial report showing that hydrogen saline can prevent selenite-induced cataract in rats. It acts via maintaining antioxidant enzymes and GSH, protecting the sulfhydryl group, and inhibiting lipid peroxidation.