Background: Aplasitc anemia (AA) is a bone marrow failure syndrome characterized by an immune-mediated destruction of hematopoietic stem cells. Though clinical symptoms could be ameliorated by bone marrow transplantation and/or immunosuppressive therapy, frequent recurrence and especially evolution of clonal hematologic diseases remains problematic clinically. Cytokines such as interferon-γ (INF-γ), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) secreted by autologous T cells are closely related with the development of AA. Hydrogen-rich solution was reported to inhibit the levels of cytokines including INF-γ, TNF-α and IL-6 in vivo in recent studies. This study was to investigate the potential therapeutic effects of hydrogen-rich solution on AA in vivo. Methods: AA model was determined in vivo by mice and body weights of the mice were used as the basic physiological index. Peripheral blood cells were calculated to evaluate the hematologic recovery degree. Bone marrow nucleated cells (BMNCs), tissue histology, as well as CFU-S and CFU-GM forming units were used to evaluate the recovery of bone marrow microenvironment. The ratio of CD4(+) and CD8(+) cells were examined along with cytokine levels in serum to determine the efficacy of H2-rich solution on the affected immunological functions. Results: Body weight and number of peripheral blood cells were significantly improved for mice in the H2-rich solution treated groups as compared with those with AA. The number of BMNCs and CFUs increased markedly and the bone marrow microenvironment was also improved significantly. The experimental group restrained the cell apoptosis, relieved hyperemia and accelerated tissue repair. The number of CD4(+) and CD8(+) cells as well as the ratio of CD4/CD8 increased to normal gradually, while the levels of TNF-α, IFN-γ, and IL-6 in serum decreased after H2-rich solution treatment. Conclusion: Our study firstly showed that hydrogen-rich solution accelerated the recovery of either hematological or immunological recovery on aplastic anemia mice. This finding suggests hydrogen-rich solution as a potential clinical therapeutic agent for AA. © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Recent studies showed that hydrogen can be used as an effective radioprotective agent through scavenging free radicals. This study was undertaken to evaluate the radioprotective effects of hydrogen on immune system in mice. H2 was dissolved in physiological saline using an apparatus produced by our department. Spleen index and histological analysis were used to evaluate the splenic structural damage. Spleen superoxide dismutase, GSH, MDA were measured to appraise the antioxidant capacity and a DCF assay for the measurement of radical oxygen species. Cell apoptosis was evaluated by an Annexin V-FITC and propidium iodide staining method as well as the apoptotic proteins such as Bcl-2, Bax, caspase-3 and c-caspase-3. CD4+ and CD8+ T cells subtypes were detected by flow cytometry with FITC-labelled antimouse CD4 and PE antimouse CD8 staining. Real-time PCR was utilized to determine the CD4+ T cell subtypes and related cytokines. Our study demonstrated that pre-treatment with H2 could increase the spleen index and attenuate the radiation damage on splenic structure. Radical oxygen species level was also reduced by H2 treatment. H2 also inhibited radiation-induced apoptosis in splenocytes and down-regulated pro-apoptotic proteins in living mice. Radiation-induced imbalance of T cells was attenuated by H2 . Finally, we found that H2 could regulate the polarization of CD4+ T cells and the level of related cytokines. This study suggests H2 as an effective radioprotective agent on immune system by scavenging reactive oxygen species.