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Cell Physiol Biochem. 2017;43(4):1634-1647. doi: 10.1159/000484024. Epub 2017 Oct 17.

Hydrogen-Rich Saline Attenuates Brain Injury Induced by Cardiopulmonary Bypass and Inhibits Microvascular Endothelial Cell Apoptosis Via the PI3K/Akt/GSK3β Signaling Pathway in Rats.

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Department of Laboratory Animal Science, China Medical University, Shenyang, China.
The people's Hospital of Liaoning Province, Department of Neurology inspection, the people's Hospital of Liaoning Province, Shenyang, China.
Department of Anesthesiology, General Hospital of Shenyang Military Area Command, Shenyang, China.
Department of Anesthesiology, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China.



Cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) is prone to inducing brain injury during open heart surgery. A hydrogen-rich solution (HRS) can prevent oxidation and apoptosis, and inhibit inflammation. This study investigated effects of HRS on brain injury induced by CPB and regulatory mechanisms of the PI3K/Akt/GSK3β signaling pathway.


A rat CPB model and an in vitro cell hypoxia model were established. After HRS treatment, Rat behavior was measured using neurological deficit score; Evans blue (EB) was used to assess permeability of the blood-brain barrier (BBB); HE staining was used to observe pathological changes; Inflammatory factors and brain injury markers were detected by ELISA; the PI3K/Akt/GSK3β pathway-related proteins and apoptosis were assessed by western blot, immunohistochemistry and qRT -PCR analyses of brain tissue and neurons.


After CPB, brain tissue anatomy was disordered, and cell structure was abnormal. Brain tissue EB content increased. There was an increase in the number of apoptotic cells, an increase in expression of Bax and caspase-3, a decrease in expression of Bcl2, and increases in levels of Akt, GSK3β, P-Akt, and P-GSK3β in brain tissue. HRS treatment attenuated the inflammatory reaction ,brain tissue EB content was significantly reduced and significantly decreased expression levels of Bax, caspase-3, Akt, GSK3β, P-Akt, and P-GSK3β in the brain. After adding the PI3K signaling pathway inhibitor, LY294002, to rat cerebral microvascular endothelial cells (CMECs), HRS could reduce activated Akt expression and downstream regulatory gene phosphorylation of GSK3β expression, and inhibit CMEC apoptosis.


The PI3K/Akt/GSK3β signaling pathway plays an important role in the mechanism of CPB-induced brain injury. HRS can reduce CPB-induced brain injury and inhibit CMEC apoptosis through the PI3K/Akt/GSK3β signaling pathway.


Apoptosis; Cardiopulmonary Bypass; Hydrogen-Rich Saline; Inflammation; PI3K/Akt/GSK3β Signaling Pathway

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