H2 Inhibits the Formation of Neutrophil Extracellular Traps

Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) contribute to inflammatory pathogenesis in numerous conditions, including infectious and cardiovascular diseases, and have attracted attention as potential therapeutic targets. H2 acts as an antioxidant and has been clinically and experimentally proven to ameliorate inflammation. This study was performed to investigate whether H2 could inhibit NET formation and excessive neutrophil activation. Neutrophils isolated from the blood of healthy volunteers were stimulated with phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA) or the calcium ionophore A23187 in H2-exposed or control media. Compared with control neutrophils, PMA- or A23187-stimulated human neutrophils exposed to H2 exhibited reduced neutrophil aggregation, citrullination of histones, membrane disruption by chromatin complexes, and release of NET components. CXCR4high neutrophils are highly prone to NETs, and H2 suppressed Ser-139 phosphorylation in H2AX, a marker of DNA damage, thereby suppressing the induction of CXCR4 expression. H2 suppressed both myeloperoxidase chlorination activity and production of reactive oxygen species to the same degree as N-acetylcysteine and ascorbic acid, while showing a more potent ability to inhibit NET formation than these antioxidants do in PMA-stimulated neutrophils. Although A23187 formed NETs in a reactive oxygen species–independent manner, H2 inhibited A23187-induced NET formation, probably via direct inhibition of peptidyl arginine deiminase 4-mediated histone citrullination. Inhalation of H2 inhibited the formation and release of NET components in the blood and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid in animal models of lipopolysaccharide-induced sepsis (mice and aged mini pigs). Thus, H2 therapy can be a novel therapeutic strategy for NETs associated with excessive neutrophil activation.

Pharmacokinetics of hydrogen after ingesting a hydrogen-rich solution: A study in pigs

Drinking hydrogen (H2)-rich water is a common way to consume H2. Although many studies have shown efficacy of drinking H2-rich water in neuropsychiatric and endocrine metabolic disorders, their authenticity has been questioned because none examined the associated pharmacokinetics of H2. Therefore, we performed the first study to investigate the pharmacokinetics of H2 in pigs given an H2-rich glucose solution with the aim to extrapolate the findings to humans. We inserted blood collection catheters into the jejunal and portal veins, suprahepatic inferior vena cava, and carotid artery of 4 female pigs aged 8 weeks. Then, within 2 min we infused 500 ml of either H2-rich or H2-free glucose solution into the jejunum via a percutaneous gastrostomy tube and measured changes in H2 concentration in venous and arterial blood over 120 min. After infusion of the H2-rich glucose solution, H2 concentration in the portal vein peaked at 0.05 mg/L and remained at more than 0.016 mg/L (H2 saturation level, 1%) after 1 h; it also increased after infusion of H2-free glucose solution but remained below 0.001 mg/L (H2 saturation level, 0.06%). We assume that H2 was subsequently metabolized in the liver or eliminated via the lungs because it was not detected in the carotid artery. In conclusion, drinking highly concentrated H2-rich solution within a short time is a good way to increase H2 concentration in portal blood and supply H2 to the liver.

Low-Flow Nasal Cannula Hydrogen Therapy

Background: Molecular hydrogen (H2) is a biologically active gas that is widely used in the healthcare sector. In recent years, on-site H2 gas generators, which produce high-purity H2 by water electrolysis, have begun to be introduced in hospitals, clinics, beauty salons, and fitness clubs because of their ease of use. In general, these generators produce H2 at a low-flow rate, so physicians are concerned that an effective blood concentration of H2 may not be ensured when the gas is delivered through a nasal cannula. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate blood concentrations of H2 delivered from an H2 gas generator via a nasal cannula. Methods: We administered 100% H2, produced by an H2 gas generator, at a low-flow rate of 250 mL/min via a nasal cannula to three spontaneously breathing micro miniature pigs. An oxygen mask was placed over the nasal cannula to administer oxygen while minimizing H2 leakage, and a catheter was inserted into the carotid artery to monitor the arterial blood H2 concentration. Results: During the first hour of H2 inhalation, the mean (standard error (SE)) H2 concentrations and saturations in the arterial blood of the three pigs were 1,560 (413) nL/mL and 8.85% (2.34%); 1,190 (102) nL/mL and 6.74% (0.58%); and 1,740 (181) nL/mL and 9.88% (1.03%), respectively. These values are comparable to the concentration one would expect if 100% of the H2 released from the H2 gas generator is taken up by the body. Conclusions: Inhalation of 100% H2 produced by an H2 gas generator, even at low-flow rates, can increase blood H2 concentrations to levels that previous non-clinical and clinical studies demonstrated to be therapeutically effective. The combination of a nasal cannula and an oxygen mask is a convenient way to reduce H2 leakage while maintaining oxygenation.

Pharmacokinetics of a single inhalation of hydrogen gas in pigs

The benefits of inhaling hydrogen gas (H2) have been widely reported but its pharmacokinetics have not yet been sufficiently analyzed. We developed a new experimental system in pigs to closely evaluate the process by which H2 is absorbed in the lungs, enters the bloodstream, and is distributed, metabolized, and excreted. We inserted and secured catheters into the carotid artery (CA), portal vein (PV), and supra-hepatic inferior vena cava (IVC) to allow repeated blood sampling and performed bilateral thoracotomy to collapse the lungs. Then, using a hydrogen-absorbing alloy canister, we filled the lungs to the maximum inspiratory level with 100% H2. The pig was maintained for 30 seconds without resuming breathing, as if they were holding their breath. We collected blood from the three intravascular catheters after 0, 3, 10, 30, and 60 minutes and measured H2 concentration by gas chromatography. H2 concentration in the CA peaked immediately after breath holding; 3 min later, it dropped to 1/40 of the peak value. Peak H2 concentrations in the PV and IVC were 40% and 14% of that in the CA, respectively. However, H2 concentration decay in the PV and IVC (half-life: 310 s and 350 s, respectively) was slower than in the CA (half-life: 92 s). At 10 min, H2 concentration was significantly higher in venous blood than in arterial blood. At 60 min, H2 was detected in the portal blood at a concentration of 6.9-53 nL/mL higher than at steady state, and in the SVC 14-29 nL/mL higher than at steady state. In contrast, H2 concentration in the CA decreased to steady state levels. This is the first report showing that inhaled H2 is transported to the whole body by advection diffusion and metabolized dynamically.