Scientific Studies

Spine and Pancreas

In the present study, we examined the mechanisms of hydrogen-rich saline, a reported therapeutic antioxidant, in the treatment of acute spinal cord contusion injury. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were used to produce a standardized model of contuses spinal cord injury (125 kdyn force). Hydrogen-rich saline was injected intraperitoneally (5 ml/kg) immediately, and at 24 and 48 h after injury. All rats were sacrificed at 72 h after spinal cord injury (SCI). Apoptotic cell death, oxidative stress, inflammation, level of Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) were evaluated. In addition, locomotor behavior was assessed using the Basso, Beattice and Bresnahan (BBB) scale. We observed that administration of hydrogen-rich saline decreased the number of apoptotic cells, suppressed oxidative stress, and improved locomotor functions. Hydrogen-rich saline increased the release of BDNF. In conclusion, hydrogen-rich saline reduced acute spinal cord contusion injury, possibly by reduction of oxidative stress and elevation of BDNF.

Molecular hydrogen, which reacts with the hydroxyl radical, has been considered as a novel antioxidant. Here, we evaluated the protective effects of hydrogen-rich saline on the l-arginine (l-Arg)-induced acute pancreatitis (AP). AP was induced in Sprague-Dawley rats by giving two intraperitoneal injections of l-Arg, each at concentrations of 250mg/100g body weight, with an interval of 1h. Hydrogen-rich saline (>0.6mM, 6ml/kg) or saline (6ml/kg) was administered, respectively, via tail vein 15min after each l-Arg administration. Severity of AP was assessed by analysis of serum amylase activity, pancreatic water content and histology. Samples of pancreas were taken for measuring malondialdehyde and myeloperoxidase. Apoptosis in pancreatic acinar cell was determined with terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling technique (TUNEL). Expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) were detected with immunohistochemistry. Hydrogen-rich saline treatment significantly attenuated the severity of l-Arg-induced AP by ameliorating the increased serum amylase activity, inhibiting neutrophil infiltration, lipid oxidation and pancreatic tissue edema. Moreover, hydrogen-rich saline treatment could promote acinar cell proliferation, inhibit apoptosis and NF-kappaB activation. These results indicate that hydrogen treatment has a protective effect against AP, and the effect is possibly due to its ability to inhibit oxidative stress, apoptosis, NF-kappaB activation and to promote acinar cell proliferation.

Oxidative stress plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of varied nervous system diseases. Recent studies have demonstrated that hydrogen has selective antioxidative effect. It selectively reduces the hydroxyl radical (*OH) and peroxynitrite (ONOO(-)), the most cytotoxic of reactive oxygen species (ROS); however, it does not affect other ROS, which play important physiological roles at low concentrations. A large body of experimental studies has proved that hydrogen, through anti-oxidation, anti-inflammatory and inhibiting apoptosis, has a significant therapeutic effect in various neurological diseases, such as ischemia, hypoxia, degeneration and spinal cord contusion. It provides us with a new clinical method for the prevention and treatment of neurological diseases.


Currently, little evidence exists to support whether the therapeutic approaches for treating ordinary acute pancreatitis (AP) are effective in trauma-induced pancreatitis. Hydrogen-rich (H2) saline is an antioxidant treatment capable of ameliorating the severity of L-arginine-induced AP. In this study, we attempted to validate its protective role against traumatic pancreatitis (TP).


A previously established experimental rat model of TP was generated by controlled delivery of high pressure air impact. The protective effects of H2 saline against TP were evaluated in this model system by measuring survival rate and determining changes in histopathology, plasma enzymes, cytokines, and oxidative stress-associated molecules.


Intraperitoneal administration of H2-rich saline produced a pronounced protection against TP in rats. Significant improvements were observed in survival rate and histopathological findings. In addition, plasma cytokines concentrations were reduced in H2 saline-treated TP rats. Although no marked inhibitory effect on plasma amylase and lipase activities was observed, H2 saline caused considerable suppression of pancreatic malondialdehyde level and recruitment of endogenous pancreatic antioxidants, such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase.


H2-rich saline has beneficial effects on TP, presumably because of its detoxification activities against excessive reactive oxygen species. Our findings highlight the potential of H2-rich saline as a therapeutic agent of trauma-induced AP.