Hydrogen-rich saline alleviates early brain injury through regulating of ER stress and autophagy after experimental subarachnoid hemorrhage

Purpose: Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a common complication of cerebral vascular disease. Hydrogen has been reported to alleviate early brain injury (EBI) through oxidative stress injury, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and autophagy. Autophagy is a programmed cell death mechanism that plays a vital role in neuronal cell death after SAH. However, the precise role of autophagy in hydrogen-mediated neuroprotection following SAH has not been confirmed. Methods: In the present study, the objective was to investigate the neuroprotective effects and potential molecular mechanisms of hydrogen-rich saline in SAH-induced EBI by regulating neural autophagy in the C57BL/6 mice model. Mortality, neurological score, brain water content, ROS, malondialdehyde (MDA), and neuronal death were evaluated. Results: The results show that hydrogen-rich saline treatment markedly increased the survival rate and neurological score, increased neuron survival, downregulated the autophagy protein expression of Beclin-1 and LC3, and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. That indicates that hydrogen-rich saline-mediated inhibition of autophagy and ER stress ameliorate neuronal death after SAH. The neuroprotective capacity of hydrogen-rich saline is partly dependent on the ROS/Nrf2/heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) signaling pathway. Conclusions: The results of this study demonstrate that hydrogen-rich saline improves neurological outcomes in mice and reduces neuronal death by protecting against neural autophagy and ER stress.