Hydrogen Inhalation is Neuroprotective and Improves Functional Outcomes in Mice After Intracerebral Hemorrhage

Oxidative stress contributes significantly to the development of secondary brain injury after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). It has been previously demonstrated that hydrogen gas can decrease oxidative stress by scavenging reactive oxygen species. We hypothesized that hydrogen therapy will reduce brain oxidative stress in mice after ICH and thereby will lead to reduced brain edema and improved neurological outcomes. CD1 male mice (weight 30-35 g) were divided into the following groups: sham, ICH+vehicle (room air), ICH+1-h hydrogen treatment, and ICH+2-h hydrogen treatment. ICH was induced by injection of bacterial collagenase into the right basal ganglia. The evaluation of outcomes was done at two time points: 24 and 72 h post-ICH. Brain water content was measured for assessment of brain edema (wet/dry weight method), and three neurological tests were performed pre- and postoperatively. Collagenase injection was found to induce brain edema and impair functional performance of rats. The hydrogen inhalation reduced these effects acutely (24 h); however it exhibited only a tendency to improvement in the delayed study (72 h). Our results suggest that hydrogen inhalation exerts an acute brain-protective effect in the mouse ICH model. However, the acute hydrogen therapy alone is not sufficient to improve delayed ICH outcomes in this model.

Protective Effect of Hydrogen Gas Therapy After Germinal Matrix Hemorrhage in Neonatal Rats

Germinal matrix hemorrhage (GMH) is a neurological disease of very low birth weight premature infants leading to post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, and mental retardation. Hydrogen (H2) is a potent antioxidant shown to selectively reverse cytotoxic oxygen-radical injury in the brain. This study investigated the therapeutic effect of hydrogen gas after neonatal GMH injury. Neonatal rats underwent stereotaxic infusion of clostridial collagenase into the right germinal matrix brain region. Cognitive function was assessed at 3 weeks, and then sensorimotor function, cerebral, cardiac and splenic growths were measured 1 week thereafter. Hydrogen gas inhalation markedly suppressed mental retardation and cerebral palsy outcomes in rats at the juvenile developmental stage. The administration of H2 gas, early after neonatal GMH, also normalized the brain atrophy, splenomegaly and cardiac hypertrophy 1 month after injury. This study supports the role of cytotoxic oxygen-radical injury in early neonatal GMH. Hydrogen gas inhalation is an effective strategy to help protect the infant brain from the post-hemorrhagic consequences of brain atrophy, mental retardation and cerebral palsy. Further studies are necessary to determine the mechanistic basis of these protective effects.

Hydrogen Inhalation Ameliorated Mast Cell–Mediated Brain Injury After Intracerebral Hemorrhage in Mice

Objective: Hydrogen inhalation was neuroprotective in several brain injury models. Its mechanisms are believed to be related to antioxidative stress. We investigated the potential neurovascular protective effect of hydrogen inhalation especially effect on mast cell activation in a mouse model of intracerebral hemorrhage. Design: Controlled in vivo laboratory study. Setting: Animal research laboratory. Subjects: One hundred seventy-one 8-week-old male CD-1 mice were used. Interventions: Collagenase-induced intracerebral hemorrhage model in 8-week-old male CD-1 mice was used. Hydrogen was administrated via spontaneous inhalation. The blood-brain barrier permeability and neurologic deficits were investigated at 24 and 72 hours after intracerebral hemorrhage. Mast cell activation was evaluated by Western blot and immuno-staining. The effects of hydrogen inhalation on mast cell activation were confirmed in an autologous blood injection model intracerebral hemorrhage. Measurement and main results: At 24 and 72 hours post intracerebral hemorrhage, animals showed blood-brain barrier disruption, brain edema, and neurologic deficits, accompanied with phosphorylation of Lyn kinase and release of tryptase, indicating mast cell activation. Hydrogen treatment diminished phosphorylation of Lyn kinase and release of tryptase, decreased accumulation and degranulation of mast cells, attenuated blood-brain barrier disruption, and improved neurobehavioral function. Conclusion: Activation of mast cells following intracerebral hemorrhage contributed to increase of blood-brain barrier permeability and brain edema. Hydrogen inhalation preserved blood-brain barrier disruption by prevention of mast cell activation after intracerebral hemorrhage.

Hydrogen inhibits microglial activation and regulates microglial phenotype in a mouse middle cerebral artery occlusion model

Microglia participate in bi-directional control of brain repair after stroke. Previous studies have demonstrated that hydrogen protects brain after ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) by inhibiting inflammation, but the specific mechanism of anti-inflammatory effect of hydrogen is poorly understood. The goal of our study is to investigate whether inhalation of high concentration hydrogen (HCH) is able to attenuate I/R-induced microglia activation. Eighty C57B/L male mice were divided into four groups: sham, I/R, I/R + HCH and I/R + N2/O2 groups. Assessment of animals happened in ‘blind’ matter. I/R was induced by occlusion of middle cerebral artery for one hour). After one hour, filament was withdrawn, which induced reperfusion. Hydrogen treated I/R animals inhaled mix of 66.7% H2 balanced with O2 for 90 minutes, starting immediately after initiation of reperfusion. Control animals (N2/O2) inhaled mix in which hydrogen was replaced with N2 for the same time (90 minutes). The brain injury, such as brain infarction and development of brain edema, as well as neurobehavioral deficits were determined 23 hours after reperfusion. Effect of HCH on microglia activation in the ischemic penumbra was investigated by immunostaining also 23 hours after reperfusion. mRNA expression of inflammation related genes was detected by PCR. Our results showed that HCH attenuated brain injury and consequently reduced neurological dysfunction after I/R. Furthermore, we demonstrated that HCH directed microglia polarization towards anti-inflammatory M2 polarization. This study indicates hydrogen may exert neuroprotective effects by inhibiting the microglial activation and regulating microglial polarization. This study was conducted in agreement with the Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and Institutional Animal Care guidelines regulation (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China (approval No. A2015-011) in November 2015.