Neurochemical Research

, Volume 35, Issue 7, pp 1111–1118 | Cite as

Hydrogen-Rich Saline Protects Against Spinal Cord Injury in Rats

  • Chengwen Chen
  • Qianbo Chen
  • Yanfei Mao
  • Shengming Xu
  • Chunyan Xia
  • Xueyin Shi
  • John H. Zhang
  • Hongbin Yuan
  • Xuejun Sun
Original Paper


In the present study, we examined the mechanisms of hydrogen-rich saline, a reported therapeutic antioxidant, in the treatment of acute spinal cord contusion injury. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were used to produce a standardized model of contuses spinal cord injury (125 kdyn force). Hydrogen-rich saline was injected intraperitoneally (5 ml/kg) immediately, and at 24 and 48 h after injury. All rats were sacrificed at 72 h after spinal cord injury (SCI). Apoptotic cell death, oxidative stress, inflammation, level of Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) were evaluated. In addition, locomotor behavior was assessed using the Basso, Beattice and Bresnahan (BBB) scale. We observed that administration of hydrogen-rich saline decreased the number of apoptotic cells, suppressed oxidative stress, and improved locomotor functions. Hydrogen-rich saline increased the release of BDNF. In conclusion, hydrogen-rich saline reduced acute spinal cord contusion injury, possibly by reduction of oxidative stress and elevation of BDNF.


Hydrogen-rich saline Oxidative free radicals Neuroprotection BDNF Spinal cord injury 



This study was supported by grants from the fund of National Nature Science Foundation of China (30772092 to Dr. Xueyin Shi).and Disaster Medial Foundation at the Second Military University (200805 to Dr. Hongbin Yuan).


  1. 1.
    Genovese T, Cuzzocrea S (2008) Role of free radicals and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 in the development of spinal cord injury: new potential therapeutic targets. Curr Med Chem 15:477–487CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hall ED, Braughler JM (1993) Free radicals in CNS injury. Res Publ Assoc Res Nerv Ment Dis 71:81–105PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Genovese T, Mazzon E, Menegazzi M et al (2006) Neuroprotection and enhanced recovery with hypericum perforatum extract after experimental spinal cord injury in mice. Shock 25:608–617CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Xiong Y, Hall ED (2009) Pharmacological evidence for a role of peroxynitrite in the pathophysiology of spinal cord injury. Exp Neurol 216:105–114CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Fontanari P, Badier M, Guillot C et al (2000) Changes in maximal performance of inspiratory and skeletal muscles during and after the 7.1-MPa Hydra 10 record human dive. Eur J Appl Physiol 81:325–328CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cai J, Kang Z, Liu K et al (2009) Neuroprotective effects of hydrogen saline in neonatal hypoxia-ischemia rat model. Brain Res 1256:129–137CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ohsawa I, Ishikawa M, Takahashi K et al (2007) Hydrogen acts as a therapeutic antioxidant by selectively reducing cytotoxic oxygen radicals. Nat Med 13:688–694CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Zheng X, Mao Y, Cai J et al (2009) Hydrogen-rich saline protects against intestinal ischemia/reperfusion injury in rats. Free Radic Res 43:478–484CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bothwell M (1995) Functional interactions of neurotrophins and neurotrophin receptors. Annu Rev Neurosci 18:223–253CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Allen AR (1911) Surgery of experimental lesion of spinal cord equivalent to crush injury of fracture dislocation of spinal column. J Am Med Assoc 57:878–880Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ohkawa H, Ohishi N, Yagi K (1979) Assay for lipid peroxides in animal tissues by thiobarbituric acid reaction. Anal Biochem 95:351–358CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Basso DM, Beattie MS, Bresnahan JC (1995) A sensitive and reliable locomotor rating scale for open field testing in rats. J Neurotrauma 12:1–21CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Basso DM, Beattie MS, Bresnahan JC et al (1996) MASCIS evaluation of open field locomotor scores: effects of experience and teamwork on reliability. Multicenter animal spinal cord injury Study. J Neurotrauma 13:343–359CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Fukuda K, Asoh S, Ishikawa M et al (2007) Inhalation of hydrogen gas suppresses hepatic injury caused by ischemia/reperfusion through reducing oxidative stress. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 361:670–674CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hayashida K, Sano M, Ohsawa I et al (2008) Inhalation of hydrogen gas reduces infarct size in the rat model of myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 373:30–35CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ohsawa I, Nishimaki K, Yamagata K et al (2008) Consumption of hydrogen water prevents atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein E knockout mice. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 377:1195–1198CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Friedman B, Kleinfeld D, Ip NY et al (1995) BDNF and NT-4/5 exert neurotrophic influences on injured adult spinal motor neurons. J Neurosci 15:1044–1056PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Zhang JY, Luo XG, Xian CJ et al (2000) Endogenous BDNF is required for myelination and regeneration of injured sciatic nerve in rodents. Eur J Neurosci 12:4171–4180PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Tolwani RJ, Cosgaya JM, Varma S et al (2004) BDNF overexpression produces a long-term increase in myelin formation in the peripheral nervous system. J Neurosci Res 77:662–669CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Lee SI, Kim BG, Hwang DH et al (2009) Overexpression of Bcl-XL in human neural stem cells promotes graft survival and functional recovery following transplantation in spinal cord injury. J Neurosci Res 87:3186–3197CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Yaguchi M, Ohta S, Toyama Y et al (2008) Functional recovery after spinal cord injury in mice through activation of microglia and dendritic cells after IL-12 administration. J Neurosci Res 86:1972–1980CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chengwen Chen
    • 1
  • Qianbo Chen
    • 1
  • Yanfei Mao
    • 2
  • Shengming Xu
    • 3
  • Chunyan Xia
    • 4
  • Xueyin Shi
    • 1
  • John H. Zhang
    • 5
  • Hongbin Yuan
    • 1
  • Xuejun Sun
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology, Changzheng HospitalSecond Military Medical UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of SICU, Xinhua HospitalShanghai Jiaotong University School of MedicineShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Orthopaedics, Changzheng HospitalSecond Military Medical UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Department of Pathology, Changzheng HospitalSecond Military Medical UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  5. 5.Department of NeurosurgeryLoma Linda UniversityLoma LindaUSA
  6. 6.Department of Diving Medicine, Faculty of Naval MedicineSecond Military Medical UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations