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Hyperbaric oxygen therapy promotes neurogenesis: where do we stand?

Jun Mu12, Paul R Krafft1 and John H Zhang123*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Physiology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, 11021 Campus Street, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA

2 Department of Neurology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, 1 Yi Xue Yuan Road, Chongqing 400016, China

3 Department of Neurology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, 11234 Anderson Street, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA

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Medical Gas Research 2011, 1:14  doi:10.1186/2045-9912-1-14

Published: 27 June 2011


Neurogenesis in adults, initiated by injury to the central nervous system (CNS) presents an autologous repair mechanism. It has been suggested that hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) enhances neurogenesis which accordingly may improve functional outcome after CNS injury. In this present article we aim to review experimental as well as clinical studies on the subject of HBOT and neurogenesis. We demonstrate hypothetical mechanism of HBOT on cellular transcription factors including hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) and cAMP response element binding (CREB). We furthermore reveal the discrepancy between experimental findings and clinical trials in regards of HBOT. Further translational preclinical studies followed by improved clinical trials are needed to elucidate potential benefits of HBOT.