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J Heart Lung Transplant. 2013 Feb;32(2):251-8. doi: 10.1016/j.healun.2012.11.007. Epub 2012 Dec 28.

Hydrogen inhalation decreases lung graft injury in brain-dead donor rats.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Second Affiliated Hospital, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China.



The process of brain death induces acute lung injury in donors and aggravates ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) in grafts. Hydrogen, a new anti-oxidant, attenuates IRI in several organ transplant models. We examined whether 2% inhaled hydrogen would show favorable effects on lung grafts from brain-dead donor rats.


Brain-dead donor rats inhaled mixed gases with either 50% oxygen and 50% nitrogen or mixed gases with 2% hydrogen, 50% oxygen and 48% nitrogen for 2 hours. The recipients inhaled the same gas as the donors and were euthanized 2 hours after lung transplantation.


Hydrogen improved PaO(2)/FIO(2) and PVO(2)/FIO(2) from the arterial and pulmonary venous blood in recipients and decreased the lung injury score in grafts from brain-dead donors. Hydrogen decreased the amount of IL-8 and TNF-α in serum, inhibited the activity of malondialdehyde and myeloperoxidase, and increased the activity of superoxide dismutase in the lung grafts from brain-dead donors. Furthermore, hydrogen decreased the apoptotic index of the cells and inhibited the protein expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and caspase-3 in lung grafts from brain-dead donors.


Hydrogen can exert protective effects on lung grafts from brain-dead donors through anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-apoptotic mechanisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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