Hydrogen-rich water alleviates cyclosporine A-induced nephrotoxicity via the Keap1/Nrf2 signaling pathway

Yi Lu, Chun Fang Li, Na Na Ping, Yu Yao Sun, Zheng Wang, Gong Xiao Zhao, Shi Hui Yuan, Abdoulaye Issotina Zibrila, Lynn Soong, Jin Jun Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Oxidative stress induced by long-term cyclosporine A (CsA) administration is a major cause of chronic nephrotoxicity, which is characterized by tubular atrophy, tubular cell apoptosis, and interstitial fibrosis in the progression of organ transplantation. Although hydrogen-rich water (HRW) has been used to prevent various oxidative stress-related diseases, its underlying mechanisms remain unclear. This study investigated the effects of HRW on CsA-induced nephrotoxicity and its potential mechanisms. After administration of CsA (25 mg/kg/day), rats were treated with or without HRW (12 mL/kg) for 4 weeks. Renal function and vascular activity were investigated. Histological changes in kidney tissues were analyzed using Masson's trichrome and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end labeling stains. Oxidative stress markers and the activation of the Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1)/nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) signaling pathway were also measured. We found that CsA increased the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and malonaldehyde (MDA), but it reduced glutathione (GSH) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels. Such alterations induced vascular dysfunction, tubular atrophy, interstitial fibrosis, and tubular apoptosis. This was evident secondary to an increase in urinary protein, serum creatinine, and blood urea nitrogen, ultimately leading to renal dysfunction. Conversely, HRW decreased levels of ROS and MDA while increasing the activity of GSH and SOD. This was accompanied by an improvement in vascular and renal function. Moreover, HRW significantly decreased the level of Keap1 and increased the expression of Nrf2, NADPH dehydrogenase quinone 1, and heme oxygenase 1. In conclusion, HRW restored the balance of redox status, suppressed oxidative stress damage, and improved kidney function induced by CsA via activation of the Keap1/Nrf2 signaling pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere22467
JournalJournal of Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • cyclosporine A
  • hydrogen-rich water
  • nephrotoxicity
  • oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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