In hypertensive animals and patients, oxidative stress represents the primary risk factor for progression of renal disease. Recently, it has been demonstrated that hydrogen, as a novel antioxidant, can selectively reduce hydroxyl radicals and peroxynitrite anion to exert therapeutic antioxidant activity. Herein, we investigated the protective effect of hydrogen-rich water (HW) against renal injury in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR).
The 8-week-old male SHR and age-matched Wistar-Kyoto rats were randomized into HW-treated (1.3 ± 0.2 mg/l for 3 months, drinking) and vehicle-treated group. Although treatment with HW had no significant effect on blood pressure, it significantly ameliorated renal injury in SHR. Treatment with HW lowered reactive oxygen species formation, upregulated the activities of superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione-S-epoxide transferase, and catalase, and suppressed NADPH oxidase activity.
Treatment with HW in SHR depressed pro-inflammatory cytokines expression including TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1β, and macrophage chemoattractant protein 1, which might be mediated by suppressing nuclear factor-κB activation. In addition, treatment with HW had protective effect on mitochondrial function including adenosine triphosphate formation and membrane integrity in SHR. In conclusion, consumption of HW is a promising strategy to alleviate renal injury as a supplement for anti-hypertensive therapy.