Background: Cholangiofibrosis is a controversial intrahepatic cholangial lesion that precedes the development of cholangiocarcinoma. Here, we demonstrate that molecular hydrogen (H2) can be used to effectively prevent cholangiofibrosis. Methods: The safety and quality of life (QOL) of rats was firstly evaluated. H2 was administered to rats subjected to thioacetamide (TAA)-induced cholangiofibrosis throughout the whole process. Then, rats were administrated with TAA for 3 months and then followed by H2 intervention. Rat livers were harvested and assessed by light microscopy and convolutional neural network. RNA-seq was performed to analyze the genetic changes in these animal models. Results: Continuous use of H2-rich water was safe and improved QOL.The incidence and average number of cholangiofibrosis in the liver were higher in the TAA group (100%, 12.0 ± 10.07) than that in the H2 group (57.1%, 2.86 ± 5.43). The AI algorithm revealed higher Alesion/Aliver in the TAA group (19.6% ± 9.01) than that in the H2 group (7.54% ± 11.0). RNA-seq analysis revealed that H2 results in a decline in glycolysis. Moreover, in the third experiment, the incidence of microscopic or suspicious tumors and the ratio of liver lesions was decreased after long-term use of H2 (12.5%, 0.57% ± 0.45) compared with untreated group (100%, 0.98% ± 0.73). A number of intestinal microbiota was changed after H2 usage, including clostridiaceae_1, ruminococcus, turicibacter, coriobacteriales, actinobacteria, and firmicutes_bacterium. Conclusion: Hydrogen-rich water protects against liver injury and cholangiofibrosis and improved quality of life partially through regulating the composition of intestinal flora.
Emerging evidence suggests that neuroinflammation and oxidative stress may be major contributors to major depressive disorder (MDD). Patients or animal models of depression show significant increase of proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and oxidative stress biomarkers in the periphery or central nervous system (CNS). Recent studies show that hydrogen selectively reduces cytotoxic oxygen radicals, and hydrogen-rich saline potentially suppresses the production of several proinflammatory mediators. Since current depression medications are accompanied by a wide spectrum of side effects, novel preventative or therapeutic measures with fewer side effects might have a promising future. We investigated the effects of drinking hydrogen-rich water on the depressive-like behavior in mice and its underlying mechanisms. Our study show that hydrogen-rich water treatment prevents chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) induced depressive-like behavior. CUMS induced elevation in IL-1β protein levels in the hippocampus, and the cortex was significantly attenuated after 4 weeks of feeding the mice hydrogen-rich water. Over-expression of caspase-1 (the IL-1β converting enzyme) and excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC) was successfully suppressed by hydrogen-rich water treatment. Our data suggest that the beneficial effects of hydrogen-rich water on depressive-like behavior may be mediated by suppression of the inflammasome activation resulting in attenuated protein IL-1β and ROS production.