Background: Increasing experimental and clinical data indicate that early brain injury (EBI) after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) largely contributes to unfavorable outcomes, and it has been proved that EBI following SAH is closely associated with oxidative stress and brain edema. The present study aimed to examine the effect of hydrogen, a mild and selective cytotoxic oxygen radical scavenger, on oxidative stress injury, brain edema and neurology outcome following experimental SAH in rabbits. Results: The level of MDA, caspase-12/3 and brain water content increased significantly at 72 hours after experimental SAH. Correspondingly, obvious brain injury was found in the SAH group by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated uridine 5′-triphosphate-biotin nick end-labeling (TUNEL) and Nissl staining. Similar results were found in the SAH+saline group. In contrast, the upregulated level of MDA, caspase-12/3 and brain edema was attenuated and the brain injury was substantially alleviated in the hydrogen treated rabbits, but the improvement of neurology outcome was not obvious. Conclusion: The results suggest that treatment with hydrogen in experimental SAH rabbits could alleviate brain injury via decreasing the oxidative stress injury and brain edema. Hence, we conclude that hydrogen possesses the potential to be a novel therapeutic agent for EBI after SAH.
Early brain injury (EBI), a significant contributor to poor outcome after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), is intimately associated with neuronal apoptosis. Recently, the protective role of hydrogen (H2 ) in the brain has been widely studied, but the underlying mechanism remains elusive. Numerous studies have shown nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) as a crucial survival pathway in neurons. Here we investigated the role of H2 in EBI following SAH, focusing on the NF-κB pathway. A double blood injection model was used to produce experimental SAH, and H2 -rich saline was injected intraperitoneally. NF-κB activity within the occipital cortex was measured. Immunofluorescence was performed to demonstrate the activation of NF-κB; Bcl-xL and cleaved caspase-3 were determined via Western blot. Gene expression of Bcl-xL was detected by real-time PCR, and TUNEL and Nissl staining were performed to illustrate brain injury in the occipital cortex. SAH induced a significant increase of cleaved caspase-3. Correspondingly, TUNEL staining demonstrated obvious neuronal apoptosis following SAH. In contrast, H2 treatment markedly increased NF-κB activity and the expression of Bcl-xL and decreased the level of cleaved caspase-3. Additionally, H2 treatment significantly reduced post-SAH neuronal apoptosis. The current study shows that H2 treatment alleviates EBI in the rabbits following SAH and that NF-κB/Bcl-xL pathway is involved in the protective role of H2 . © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.