Molecular hydrogen stimulates the gene expression of transcriptional coactivator PGC-1α to enhance fatty acid metabolism

We previously reported that molecular hydrogen (H2) acts as a novel antioxidant to exhibit multiple functions. Moreover, long-term drinking of H2-water (water infused with H2) enhanced energy expenditure to improve obesity and diabetes in db/db mice accompanied by the increased expression of fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) by an unknown mechanism. H2 was ingested by drinking of H2-water or by oral administration of an H2-producing material, MgH2. The comprehensive gene expression profile in the liver of db/db mice was analyzed by DNA microarray. The molecular mechanisms underlying the gene expression profile was investigated using cultured HepG2 cells. Moreover, the effects on lifespan of drinking H2-water were examined using wild-type mice that were fed a fatty diet. Pathway analyses based on comprehensive gene expression revealed the increased expression of various genes involved in fatty acid and steroid metabolism. As a transcription pathway, the PPARα signaling pathway was identified to upregulate their genes by ingesting H2. As an early event, the gene expression of PGC-1α was transiently increased, followed by increased expression of FGF21. The expression of PGC-1α might be regulated indirectly through sequential regulation by H2, 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal, and Akt/FoxO1 signaling, as suggested in cultured cell experiments. In wild-type mice fed the fatty diet, H2-water improved the level of plasma triglycerides and extended their average of lifespan. H2 induces expression of the PGC-1α gene, followed by stimulation of the PPARα pathway that regulates FGF21, and the fatty acid and steroid metabolism.

Molecular hydrogen stimulates the gene expression of transcriptional coactivator PGC-1α to enhance fatty acid metabolism

We previously reported that molecular hydrogen (H2) acts as a novel antioxidant to exhibit multiple functions. Moreover, long-term drinking of H2-water (water infused with H2) enhanced energy expenditure to improve obesity and diabetes in db/db mice accompanied by the increased expression of fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) by an unknown mechanism. H2 was ingested by drinking of H2-water or by oral administration of an H2-producing material, MgH2. The comprehensive gene expression profile in the liver of db/db mice was analyzed by DNA microarray. The molecular mechanisms underlying the gene expression profile was investigated using cultured HepG2 cells. Moreover, the effects on lifespan of drinking H2-water were examined using wild-type mice that were fed a fatty diet. Pathway analyses based on comprehensive gene expression revealed the increased expression of various genes involved in fatty acid and steroid metabolism. As a transcription pathway, the PPARα signaling pathway was identified to upregulate their genes by ingesting H2. As an early event, the gene expression of PGC-1α was transiently increased, followed by increased expression of FGF21. The expression of PGC-1α might be regulated indirectly through sequential regulation by H2, 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal, and Akt/FoxO1 signaling, as suggested in cultured cell experiments. In wild-type mice fed the fatty diet, H2-water improved the level of plasma triglycerides and extended their average of lifespan. H2 induces expression of the PGC-1α gene, followed by stimulation of the PPARα pathway that regulates FGF21, and the fatty acid and steroid metabolism.

Molecular hydrogen regulates gene expression by modifying the free radical chain reaction-dependent generation of oxidized phospholipid mediators

We previously showed that H2 acts as a novel antioxidant to protect cells against oxidative stress. Subsequently, numerous studies have indicated the potential applications of H2 in therapeutic and preventive medicine. Moreover, H2 regulates various signal transduction pathways and the expression of many genes. However, the primary targets of H2 in the signal transduction pathways are unknown. Here, we attempted to determine how H2 regulates gene expression. In a pure chemical system, H2 gas (approximately 1%, v/v) suppressed the autoxidation of linoleic acid that proceeds by a free radical chain reaction, and pure 1-palmitoyl-2-arachidonyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (PAPC), one of the major phospholipids, was autoxidized in the presence or absence of H2. H2 modified the chemical production of the autoxidized phospholipid species in the cell-free system. Exposure of cultured cells to the H2-dependently autoxidized phospholipid species reduced Ca(2+) signal transduction and mediated the expression of various genes as revealed by comprehensive microarray analysis. In the cultured cells, H2 suppressed free radical chain reaction-dependent peroxidation and recovered the increased cellular Ca(2+), resulting in the regulation of Ca(2+)-dependent gene expression. Thus, H2 might regulate gene expression via the Ca(2+) signal transduction pathway by modifying the free radical-dependent generation of oxidized phospholipid mediators.

Protective Effect of Hydrogen Gas Inhalation on Muscular Damage using a Mouse Hind Limb Ischemia Reperfusion Injury Model

Background: Ischemia-reperfusion injury is one of the leading causes of tissue damage and dysfunction, in particular, free tissue transfer, traumatically amputated extremity, and prolonged tourniquet application during extremity surgery. In this study, the authors investigated the therapeutic effects of hydrogen gas on skeletal muscle ischemia-reperfusion injury. Methods: The authors compared the concentration of hydrogen in a muscle on intraperitoneal administration of hydrogen-rich saline and on inhalation of hydrogen gas. Animals were subjected to ischemia-reperfusion. Mice were treated with inhalation of hydrogen gas, and the hind gastrocnemius muscle was collected. Muscle morphology and inflammatory change were evaluated after ischemia-reperfusion. Moreover, a footprint test was performed to assess the functional effect of hydrogen. Results: Hydrogen concentration of tissue was significantly higher, and the elevated level was maintained longer by hydrogen gas inhalation than by intraperitoneal administration of hydrogen-rich saline. Infarct zone and area with loss of tissue structure and marked cellular infiltration were significantly decreased in groups treated by hydrogen gas inhalation during ischemia-reperfusion; however, these effects were not observed by posttreatment of hydrogen. One week after ischemia-reperfusion, mice that had been pretreated with hydrogen gas recovered faster and achieved smoother walking in appearance compared with mice in the other groups as assessed by the footprint test. Conclusions: Inhalation of hydrogen gas attenuates muscle damage, inhibits inflammatory response, and enhances functional recovery. These findings suggest that the optimal route for hydrogen delivery is continuous inhalation of hydrogen gas, which could be a novel clinical mode of treatment in ischemia-reperfusion injury.

Molecular hydrogen suppresses free-radical-induced cell death by mitigating fatty acid peroxidation and mitochondrial dysfunction

Molecular hydrogen (H2) was believed to be an inert and nonfunctional molecule in mammalian cells; however, we overturned the concept by reporting the therapeutic effects of H2 against oxidative stress. Subsequently, extensive studies revealed multiple functions of H2 by exhibiting the efficacies of H2 in various animal models and clinical studies. Here, we investigated the effect of H2 on free-radical-induced cytotoxicity using tert-butyl hydroperoxide in a human acute monocytic leukemia cell line, THP-1. Cell membrane permeability was determined using lactate dehydrogenase release assay and Hoechst 33342 and propidium iodide staining. Fatty acid peroxidation and mitochondrial viability were measured using 2 kinds of fluorescent dyes, Liperfluo and C11-BODIPY, and using the alamarBlue assay based on the reduction of resazurin to resorufin by mainly mitochondrial succinate dehydrogenase, respectively. Mitochondrial membrane potential was evaluated using tetramethylrhodamine methyl ester. As a result, H2 protected the cultured cells against the cytotoxic effects induced by tert-butyl hydroperoxide; H2 suppressed cellular fatty acid peroxidation and cell membrane permeability, mitigated the decline in mitochondrial oxidoreductase activity and mitochondrial membrane potential, and protected cells against cell death evaluated using propidium iodide staining. These results suggested that H2 suppresses free-radical-induced cell death through protection against fatty acid peroxidation and mitochondrial dysfunction.