BACKGROUND: Hydrogen gas (H2) inhalation during hemorrhage stabilizes post-resuscitation hemodynamics, improving short-term survival in a rat hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation (HS/R) model. However, the underlying molecular mechanism of H2 in HS/R is unclear. Endothelial glycocalyx (EG) damage causes hemodynamic failure associated with HS/R. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that H2 alleviates oxidative stress by suppressing xanthine oxidoreductase (XOR) and/or preventing tumor necrosis factor-alfa (TNF-α)-mediated syndecan-1 shedding during EG damage. METHODS: HS/R was induced in rats by reducing mean arterial pressure (MAP) to 35 mm Hg for 60 min followed by resuscitation. Rats inhaled oxygen or H2 + oxygen after achieving shock either in the presence or absence of an XOR inhibitor (XOR-I) for both the groups. In a second test, rats received oxygen alone or antitumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α monoclonal antibody with oxygen or H2. Two hours after resuscitation, XOR activity, purine metabolites, cytokines, syndecan-1 were measured and survival rates were assessed 6 h after resuscitation. RESULTS: H2 and XOR-I both suppressed MAP reduction and improved survival rates. H2 did not affect XOR activity and the therapeutic effects of XOR-I and H2 were additive. H2 suppressed plasma TNF-α and syndecan-1 expression; however, no additional H2 therapeutic effect was observed in the presence of anti-TNF-α monoclonal antibody. CONCLUSIONS: H2 inhalation after shock stabilized hemodynamics and improved survival rates in an HS/R model independent of XOR. The therapeutic action of H2 was partially mediated by inhibition of TNF-α-dependent syndecan-1 shedding.
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