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

Harumi Ichimiya, Katsuya Iuchi, Naomi Kamimura, Shigeo Ohta

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DOI: 10.1038/npjamd.2016.8 DOI is the universal ID for this study.

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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.

Publish Year 2016
Country Japan
Rank Positive
Journal NPJ Aging and Mechanisms of Disease
Primary Topic Whole Body
Secondary TopicDiabetes
Model Mouse
Tertiary TopicLipid Metabolism
Vehicle Water (Dissolved)
pH Neutral
Application Ingestion