Molecular hydrogen in drinking water protects against neurodegenerative changes induced by traumatic brain injury

Andrej Kovac, Brian C. Kraemer, Gul N. Shah, Kenji Dohi, Kim M. Hansen, Michelle A. Erickson, Nader Sheibani, Pamela J. McMillan, Therese Salameh, William A. Banks, Zuzana Flachbartova

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DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0108034 DOI is the universal ID for this study.

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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) in its various forms has emerged as a major problem for modern society. Acute TBI can transform into a chronic condition and be a risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, probably through induction of oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. Here, we examined the ability of the antioxidant molecular hydrogen given in drinking water (molecular hydrogen water; mHW) to alter the acute changes induced by controlled cortical impact (CCI), a commonly used experimental model of TBI. We found that mHW reversed CCI-induced edema by about half, completely blocked pathological tau expression, accentuated an early increase seen in several cytokines but attenuated that increase by day 7, reversed changes seen in the protein levels of aquaporin-4, HIF-1, MMP-2, and MMP-9, but not for amyloid beta peptide 1-40 or 1-42. Treatment with mHW also reversed the increase seen 4 h after CCI in gene expression related to oxidation/carbohydrate metabolism, cytokine release, leukocyte or cell migration, cytokine transport, ATP and nucleotide binding. Finally, we found that mHW preserved or increased ATP levels and propose a new mechanism for mHW, that of ATP production through the Jagendorf reaction. These results show that molecular hydrogen given in drinking water reverses many of the sequelae of CCI and suggests that it could be an easily administered, highly effective treatment for TBI.

Publish Year 2014
Country United States
Rank Positive
Journal PLoS One
Primary Topic Brain
Secondary TopicTraumatic Brain Injury
Model Mouse
Tertiary TopicEdema
Vehicle Water (Dissolved)
pH Neutral
Application Ingestion