Hydrogen treatment protects lung barrier in sepsisScientific Research

original title: Protective effect and mechanism of hydrogen treatment on lung epithelial barrier dysfunction in rats with sepsis


L Liu, X Wu, B Tao, N Wang, J Zhang

DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15016050



This study aimed to explore the protective effect of hydrogen and to investigate the underlying mechanism of its preliminary effect on the alveolar epithelial barrier function in septic rats. Forty-five male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided randomly into three groups (N = 15): control [saline injection (intraperitoneal, ip), air drawing; SA], acute lung injury group [lipopolysaccharide (LPS) injection (ip, 15 mg/kg), air drawing; LA], and acute lung injury combined with hydrogen drawing group [LPS injection (ip, 15 mg/kg), 2% hydrogen drawing; LH]. The rats were euthanized after 6 h of treatment, and the extravascular lung water (EVLW), pulmonary alveolar-arterial oxygen pressure (A-aDO2), and respiratory index (RI) of each group were measured. The aquaporin-1 (AQP-1) protein expression in the lung tissues was detected using immunohistochemistry and western blotting, and the correlation between the EVLW and AQP-1 was analyzed. The lung morphology was observed with light and electron microscopy. In the LA group, EVLW (0.87 ± 0.17), A-aDO2 (113.21 ± 13.92), RI (0.65 ± 0.26), and AQP-1 expression increased. Additionally, thickened alveolar walls, significant invasion of inflammatory cells around the vessels, capillary ectasia, hyperemia/hemorrhage in the alveolar space, significantly swollen mitochondria, and increased vacuolar degeneration were observed. A significant negative correlation between AQP-1 expression and EVLW was observed (R2 = 0.8806). Compared with the LA group, EVLW (0.71 ± 0.19), A-aDO2 (132.42 ± 17.39), RI (0.75 ± 0.24), and inflammatory reaction decreased and AQP-1 expression increased in the LH group. The damage to pulmonary epithelial cells improved after hydrogen treatment in rats with sepsis; hydrogen could protect the pulmonary epithelial barrier function by acting on AQP-1.