A recent clinical study demonstrated that haemodialysis with a dialysate containing hydrogen (H2) improves blood pressure control in end-stage kidney disease. Herein, we examined whether H2 has a salutary effect on hypertension in animal models. We subjected 5/6 nephrectomised rats to inhalation of either H2 (1.3% H2 + 21% O2 + 77.7% N2) or control (21% O2 + 79% N2) gas mixture for 1 h per day. H2 significantly suppressed increases in blood pressure after 5/6 nephrectomy. The anti-hypertensive effect of H2 was also confirmed in rats in a stable hypertensive state 3 weeks after nephrectomy. To examine the detailed effects of H2 on hypertension, we used an implanted telemetry system to continuously monitor blood pressure. H2 exerted an anti-hypertensive effect not only during daytime rest, but also during night-time activities. Spectral analysis of blood pressure variability revealed that H2 improved autonomic imbalance, namely by suppressing the overly active sympathetic nervous system and augmenting parasympathetic nervous system activity; these effects co-occurred with the blood pressure-lowering effect. In conclusion, 1-h daily exposure to H2 exerts an anti-hypertensive effect in an animal model of hypertension.
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