H2-Rich Water Reduces Corneal Inflammation in Rat ModelScientific Research

original title: Prophylactic Instillation of Hydrogen-Rich Water Decreases Corneal Inflammation and Promotes Wound Healing by Activating Antioxidant Activity in a Rat Alkali Burn Model


Momoko Kasamatsu, Takeshi Arima, Toyo Ikebukuro, Yuji Nakano, Yutaro Tobita, Masaaki Uchiyama, Akira Shimizu, Hiroshi Takahashi

DOI: 10.3390/ijms23179774



Many studies have demonstrated the therapeutic effects of hydrogen in pathological conditions such as inflammation; however, little is known about its prophylactic effects. The purpose of this study is to investigate the prophylactic effects of hydrogen-rich water instillation in a rat corneal alkali burn model. Hydrogen-rich water (hydrogen group) or physiological saline (vehicle group) was instilled continuously to the normal rat cornea for 5 min. At 6 h after instillation, the cornea was exposed to alkali. The area of corneal epithelial defect (CED) was measured every 6 h until 24 h after alkali exposure. In addition, at 6 and 24 h after injury, histological and immunohistochemical observations were made and real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was performed to investigate superoxide dismutase enzyme (SOD)1, SOD2, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC-1α) mRNA expression. CED at 12 h and the number of inflammatory infiltrating cells at 6 h after injury were significantly smaller in the hydrogen group than the vehicle group. Furthermore, SOD1 expression was significantly higher in the hydrogen group than the vehicle group at both 6 and 24 h, and the number of PGC-1α-positive cells was significantly larger in the hydrogen group than the vehicle group at 6 h after injury. In this model, prophylactic instillation of hydrogen-rich water suppressed alkali burn-induced inflammation, likely by upregulating expression of antioxidants such as SOD1 and PGC-1α. Hydrogen has not only therapeutic potential but also prophylactic effects that may suppress corneal scarring following injury and promote wound healing.