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Med Gas Res. 2019 Jul-Sep;9(3):133-138. doi: 10.4103/2045-9912.266988.

Safety of inhaled hydrogen gas in healthy mice.

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Department of Cardiology, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.
Department of Cardiology, Boston Children's Hospital; Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Department of Pathology, Boston Children's Hospital; Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School; Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.
Department of Neurobiology, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.


The purpose of this work was to determine the safety of inhaled hydrogen gas in healthy animals. Female mice were exposed to medical air with or without hydrogen gas (concentration 2.4%) for 72 hours (n = 25 mice/group). Mice underwent a standardized and validated neurobehavioral examination, SmithKline Beecham, Harwell, Imperial College, Royal London Hospital, Phenotype Assessment (SHIRPA) protocol, prior to and following the exposure period. Blood was withdrawn for serologic evaluation and all major organ tissues were evaluated histologically. The average hydrogen concentration within the chamber was 2.27%. Following exposure, there was no significant change in body weight in either group. Similarly, there was no significant change in the total SHIRPA score, although hydrogen-treated mice exhibited significantly lower spontaneous locomotor activity (P < 0.0001) in a subset of the test; all other aspects of the mouse neurologic exam were normal in hydrogen-treated animals. Brain histopathology was also normal in all mice, as was the histology of all other major organs. There were no significant differences in complete blood count, serum chemistry, or arterial blood gases between control and hydrogen-treated mice (P > 0.05 for all). Hydrogen gas did not appear to cause significant adverse effects when administered to healthy mice for 72 hours, with the possible exception of decreased spontaneous locomotor activity. The study was approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at Boston Children's Hospital, USA (approved number 18-01-3536) on January 25, 2018.


adverse effects ; hydrogen gas; ischemia-reperfusion injury; neurobehavioral testing; neuroprotection; safety

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Conflict of interest statement

No authors disclose any conflicts of interest related to this work.

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