Protective Effects of Hydrogen Gas on Experimental Acute Pancreatitis

Acute pancreatitis (AP) is an inflammatory disease mediated by damage to acinar cells and pancreatic inflammation. In patients with AP, subsequent systemic inflammatory responses and multiple organs dysfunction commonly occur. Interactions between cytokines and oxidative stress greatly contribute to the amplification of uncontrolled inflammatory responses. Molecular hydrogen (H2) is a potent free radical scavenger that not only ameliorates oxidative stress but also lowers cytokine levels. The aim of the present study was to investigate the protective effects of H2 gas on AP both in vitro and in vivo. For the in vitro assessment, AR42J cells were treated with cerulein and then incubated in H2-rich or normal medium for 24 h, and for the in vivo experiment, AP was induced through a retrograde infusion of 5% sodium taurocholate into the pancreatobiliary duct (0.1 mL/100 g body weight). Wistar rats were treated with inhaled air or 2% H2 gas and sacrificed 12 h following the induction of pancreatitis. Specimens were collected and processed to measure the amylase and lipase activity levels; the myeloperoxidase activity and production levels; the cytokine mRNA expression levels; the 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine, malondialdehyde, and glutathione levels; and the cell survival rate. Histological examinations and immunohistochemical analyses were then conducted. The results revealed significant reductions in inflammation and oxidative stress both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, the beneficial effects of H2 gas were associated with reductions in AR42J cell and pancreatic tissue damage. In conclusion, our results suggest that H2 gas is capable of ameliorating damage to the pancreas and AR42J cells and that H2 exerts protective effects both in vitro and in vivo on subjects with AP. Thus, the results obtained indicate that this gas may represent a novel therapy agent in the management of AP.

MAPKs and Hsc70 are critical to the protective effect of molecular hydrogen during the early phase of acute pancreatitis

Molecular hydrogen (H2 ) has been proven to be an effective agent that can cure multiple organ diseases by reducing oxidative stress. Although the protective effect of hydrogen on acute pancreatitis (AP) has been confirmed, its molecular mechanism is still unclear. In this article, we aimed to investigate the changes in pancreatic cell protein expression associated with the protective effect of H2 against AP and attempted to uncover the molecular mechanism underlying this process. A proteomic analysis identified 73 differentially expressed proteins and generated the protein-protein interaction networks of these proteins. The results triggered our interest in mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and heat shock cognate 71 kDa protein (Hsc70). The subsequent in vitro experiments showed that H2 treatment inhibited the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 MAPK; the activation of NF-κB and the expression of TNF-α and IL-1β, while simultaneously preventing the translocation of phospho-ERK, phospho-JNK, and phospho-p38 from the cytoplasm to the nucleus. Furthermore, Hsc70 expression was upregulated by H2 administration. The animal experiment results were consistent with those of the in vitro experiments. in conclusion, H2 treatment can ameliorate the inflammatory response and reduce the expression of inflammatory mediators during the early phase of AP by inhibiting the MAPK pathways and increasing Hsc70 expression. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.