H2 restores liver function in obstructive cholangitisScientific Research

original title: Molecular hydrogen accelerates the reversal of acute obstructive cholangitis‑induced liver dysfunction by restoring gap and tight junctions


Shiyang Zhu, Jianhua Yu, Weiguo Lin, Haijun Tang, Weiguang Zhang, Baochun Lu

DOI: 10.3892/mmr.2019.10179



Gap junctions (GJs) and tight junctions (TJs) are essential to maintain the function of hepatocytes. Changes in biliary tract pressure and the effect of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) may lead to acute obstructive cholangitis (AOC) and cause liver injury via GJ and TJ dysfunction. Hydrogen has been confirmed to have a protective role in various organs during pathological conditions and inflammation. The present study investigated the function of junction proteins and the potential application of H2 in AOC‑induced liver injury. An AOC rat model was established by LPS injection through a bile duct catheter, while the distal bile duct was closed. The catheter sealing caps were removed and bile was allowed to flow out from the catheters at 12 h after LPS infusion. The potential application of H2 was studied in the AOC rat model with biliary drainage. It was observed that AOC induced the disruption of junction proteins of both GJs and TJs. H2 administration reversed AOC‑induced disruption of GJs and TJs after biliary drainage. The mechanism of this phenomenon suggests that H2 may have effectively attenuated AOC‑induced inflammatory and oxidative damage, and decreased matrix metalloproteinase activity. H2 may accelerate the reversal of AOC‑induced liver dysfunction, and this phenomenon may depend on reversing the inhibition of GJs and TJs.