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Hydrogen saline offers neuroprotection by reducing oxidative stress in a focal cerebral ischemia-reperfusion rat model

Ying Liu12, Wenwu Liu2, Xuejun Sun2*, Runping Li2, Qiang Sun2, Jianmei Cai3, Zhimin Kang2, Shijun Lv1, John H Zhang4 and Wei Zhang3*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pathology, Weifang Medical College, Shandong, 261042, PR China

2 Department of Diving Medicine, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China

3 Department of Neurology, Changhai Hospital,174 Changhai Road, Shanghai 200433, PR China

4 Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, California, USA

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Medical Gas Research 2011, 1:15  doi:10.1186/2045-9912-1-15

Published: 5 July 2011


Hydrogen gas is neuroprotective in cerebral ischemia animal models. In this study, we tested the neuroprotective effects of hydrogen saline, which is safe and easy to use clinically, in a rat model of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Sprague-Dawley male rats weighting 250-280 g were divided into sham, MCAO plus hydrogen saline and MCAO groups, and subjected to 90-min ischemia followed by 24 h of reperfusion. Hydrogen saline was injected intraperitoneally at 1 ml/100 g body weight. Infarct volume and brain water content were evaluated at different time points after reperfusion. Oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptotic cell death markers were measured. Hydrogen saline significantly reduced the infarct volume and edema and improved the neurological function, when it was administered at 0, 3 and 6 h after reperfusion. Hydrogen saline decreased 8-hydroxyl-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), reduced malondidehyde, interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α, and suppressed caspase 3 activity in the ischemic brain. These findings demonstrated hydrogen saline is neuroprotective when administered within 6 h after ischemia. Because hydrogen saline is safe and easy to use, it has clinical potentials to reduce neurological injuries.