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      Hydrogen coadministration slows the development of COPD-like lung disease in a cigarette smoke-induced rat model

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          Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive pulmonary disease caused by harmful gases or particles. Recent studies have shown that 2% hydrogen or hydrogen water is effective in the treatment and prevention of a variety of diseases. This study investigated the beneficial effects and the possible mechanisms of different hydrogen concentrations on COPD.


          A rat COPD model was established through smoke exposure methods, and inhalation of different concentrations of hydrogen was used as the intervention. The daily condition of rats and the weight changes were observed; lung function and right ventricular hypertrophy index were assessed. Also, white blood cells were assessed in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Pathologic changes in the lung tissue were analyzed using light microscopy and electron microscopy; cardiovascular structure and pulmonary arterial pressure changes in rats were observed using ultrasonography. Tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-17, IL-23, matrix metalloproteinase-12, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1, caspase-3, caspase-8 protein, and mRNA levels in the lung tissue were determined using immunohistochemistry, Western blot, and real-time polymerase chain reaction.


          The results showed that hydrogen inhalation significantly reduced the number of inflammatory cells in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and the mRNA and protein expression levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha, IL-6, IL-17, IL-23, matrix metalloproteinase-12, caspase-3, and caspase-8, but increased the tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 expression. Furthermore, hydrogen inhalation ameliorated lung pathology, lung function, and cardiovascular function and reduced the right ventricular hypertrophy index. Inhalation of 22% and 41.6% hydrogen showed better outcome than inhalation of 2% hydrogen.


          These results suggest that hydrogen inhalation slows the development of COPD-like lung disease in a cigarette smoke-induced rat model. Higher concentrations of hydrogen may represent a more effective way for the rat model.

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          Most cited references 36

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          An official American Thoracic Society public policy statement: Novel risk factors and the global burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

          Although cigarette smoking is the most important cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a substantial proportion of COPD cases cannot be explained by smoking alone. To evaluate the risk factors for COPD besides personal cigarette smoking. We constituted an ad hoc subcommittee of the American Thoracic Society Environmental and Occupational Health Assembly. An international group of members was invited, based on their scientific expertise in a specific risk factor for COPD. For each risk factor area, the committee reviewed the literature, summarized the evidence, and developed conclusions about the likelihood of it causing COPD. All conclusions were based on unanimous consensus. The population-attributable fraction for smoking as a cause of COPD ranged from 9.7 to 97.9%, but was less than 80% in most studies, indicating a substantial burden of disease attributable to nonsmoking risk factors. On the basis of our review, we concluded that specific genetic syndromes and occupational exposures were causally related to the development of COPD. Traffic and other outdoor pollution, secondhand smoke, biomass smoke, and dietary factors are associated with COPD, but sufficient criteria for causation were not met. Chronic asthma and tuberculosis are associated with irreversible loss of lung function, but there remains uncertainty about whether there are important phenotypic differences compared with COPD as it is typically encountered in clinical settings. In public health terms, a substantive burden of COPD is attributable to risk factors other than smoking. To prevent COPD-related disability and mortality, efforts must focus on prevention and cessation of exposure to smoking and these other, less well-recognized risk factors.
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            Stimulation of airway mucin gene expression by interleukin (IL)-17 through IL-6 paracrine/autocrine loop.

            Mucus hypersecretion and persistent airway inflammation are common features of various airway diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cystic fibrosis. One key question is: does the associated airway inflammation in these diseases affect mucus production? If so, what is the underlying mechanism? It appears that increased mucus secretion results from increased mucin gene expression and is also frequently accompanied by an increased number of mucous cells (goblet cell hyperplasia/metaplasia) in the airway epithelium. Many studies on mucin gene expression have been directed toward Th2 cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-4, IL-9, and IL-13 because of their known pathophysiological role in allergic airway diseases such as asthma. However, the effect of these cytokines has not been definitely linked to their direct interaction with airway epithelial cells. In our study, we treated highly differentiated cultures of primary human tracheobronchial epithelial (TBE) cells with a panel of cytokines (interleukin-1alpha, 1beta, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, and tumor necrosis factor alpha). We found that IL-6 and IL-17 could stimulate the mucin genes, MUC5B and MUC5AC. The Th2 cytokines IL-4, IL-9, and IL-13 did not stimulate MUC5AC or MUC5B in our experiments. A similar stimulation of MUC5B/Muc5b expression by IL-6 and IL-17 was demonstrated in primary monkey and mouse TBE cells. Further investigation of MUC5B expression demonstrated that IL-17's effect is at least partly mediated through IL-6 by a JAK2-dependent autocrine/paracrine loop. Finally, evidence is presented to show that both IL-6 and IL-17 mediate MUC5B expression through the ERK signaling pathway.
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              Interleukin (IL)-23 mediates Toxoplasma gondii–induced immunopathology in the gut via matrixmetalloproteinase-2 and IL-22 but independent of IL-17

              Peroral infection with Toxoplasma gondii leads to the development of small intestinal inflammation dependent on Th1 cytokines. The role of Th17 cells in ileitis is unknown. We report interleukin (IL)-23–mediated gelatinase A (matrixmetalloproteinase [MMP]-2) up-regulation in the ileum of infected mice. MMP-2 deficiency as well as therapeutic or prophylactic selective gelatinase blockage protected mice from the development of T. gondii–induced immunopathology. Moreover, IL-23–dependent up-regulation of IL-22 was essential for the development of ileitis, whereas IL-17 was down-regulated and dispensable. CD4+ T cells were the main source of IL-22 in the small intestinal lamina propria. Thus, IL-23 regulates small intestinal inflammation via IL-22 but independent of IL-17. Gelatinases may be useful targets for treatment of intestinal inflammation.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                02 May 2017
                : 12
                : 1309-1324
                [1 ]Department of Respiratory Medicine, The First Hospital of Hebei Medical University
                [2 ]Department of Immunology, Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang
                [3 ]Life Science Research Center, Hebei North University, Zhangjiakou, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Wuzhuang Sun, Department of Respiratory Medicine, The First Hospital of Hebei Medical University, 89 Donggang Road, Shijiazhuang 050031, People’s Republic of China, Tel +86 186 3388 9856, Email sunwuzhuang2016@
                Baojian Xue, Life Science Research Center, Hebei North University, 11 Zuan-shinan Road, Zhangjiakou 075000, People’s Republic of China, Email baojian-xue@

                These authors contributed equally to this work

                © 2017 Liu et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hydrogen, inflammation


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