AIM: To investigate the effects of hydrogen (H2) on Cu, Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) activation in a rat model of corneal alkali burn.
METHODS: In each rat, one cornea was subjected to alkali exposure. Physiological saline (saline group) or H2-dissolved saline (H2 group) was instilled continuously on the cornea for 5min before and after alkali exposure. Inflammatory cells, neovascularization, and cytoplasmic SOD1 levels were evaluated immunohistochemically in enucleated eyes from both groups. Three-dimensional ultrastructural tissue changes in the eyes were analyzed using low-vacuum scanning electron microscopy.

RESULTS: The numbers of both inflammatory and vascular endothelial cells were significantly reduced in the corneas of the H2 group (P<0.01). Furthermore, H2 treatment increased both cytoplasmic SOD1 levels (P<0.01) and activity in corneal epithelial cells (P<0.01). Notably, the SOD1 activity level in the H2 group was approximately 2.5-fold greater than that in the saline group.

CONCLUSION: H2 treatment suppresses inflammation and neovascularization in the injured cornea and indirectly suppresses oxidative insult to the cornea by upregulating the SOD1 enzyme protein level and activity.


Full Clinical Study:10.18240/ijo.01.08.2020