Objective: We investigated the feasibility and efficacy of hydrogen-rich saline therapy on delayed neurologic sequelae in a rat model of severe acute carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Design: Controlled animal study. Setting: University research laboratory for Diving Medicine. Subjects: Sprague-Dawley rats weighing 250 ± 20 g. Interventions: The rats were exposed to 1000 ppm CO in air for 40 min and then to 3000 ppm for another 20 min until they lost consciousness. Rats were intraperitoneal injected with hydrogen-rich saline or normal saline (10 mL/kg) for six times after resuscitation at 0, 12, 24, 36, 48, and 60 hrs, respectively. The rats without CO poisoning were used as normal controls. Measurements and main results: Brain tissue inflammation, cell death, and cognitive dysfunction were observed at one week after CO poisoning. Hydrogen-rich saline treatment significantly reduced the level of degraded myelin basic protein, decreased the expression of ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1, Iba1, a microglial marker, reduced DNA oxidation, and suppressed proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α in the cortex and hippocampal tissues when compared with those in normal saline-treated rats. These histologic and biological improvements were accompanied with an improvement in the Morris water maze test. Conclusions: This observation demonstrated that hydrogen-rich saline peritoneal injection improves histologic and functional assessment in a rat model of CO encephalopathy. Hydrogen saline has potentials as a novel and alternative therapy for severely CO-poisoned patients with delayed neurologic sequelae. The therapeutic effects of hydrogen-rich saline may be related to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions.
Oxidative stress is thought to play an important role in the pathogenesis of inflammation. Recent studies have found that hydrogen gas has the effect of eliminating free radicals. Whether hydrogen saline (more convenient to be used than hydrogen gas) has the anti-inflammation effect or not is still unknown. Carrageenan-induced paw oedema and LPS-activated macrophages are studied in this article. Injection of carrageenan into the foot of a mouse elicited an acute inflammatory response characterized by increase of foot volume and infiltration of neutrophils. While tumor necrosis factorα(TNF-α) secreted by activated macrophages was determined by ELISA and real-time PCR. All parameters of inflammation (foot volume, infiltration of neutrophils, amount of TNF-α and the level of TNF-α’s mRNA) were attenuated by the hydrogen saline treatment. As a more convenient way than inhaling H2, hydrogen saline exhibits a protective effect against inflammation and it might provide a novel therapeutic approach for inflammatory diseases.