Methane attenuates hepatic ischemia/reperfusion injury in rats through antiapoptotic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidative actions

Zhouheng Ye, Quyang Chen, Rongjia Zhang, Atsunori Nakao, Danfeng Fan, Ting Zhang, Zhengyong Gu, Hengyi Tao, Xuejun Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Hepatic ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury, which occurs in various diseases, introduces severe tissue damage and liver dysfunction. However, no promising therapies for such a significant condition currently exist. Methane has been suggested to exert a protective effect against intestinal I/R injury. In this study, we introduced methane to treat hepatic I/R injury to show its promising protective effect. Also, intraperitoneal injection with methane-rich saline, which could have potential clinical applications, was applied as a new method. Partial liver warm ischemia was applied in Sprague-Dawley rats for 60 min followed by succedent reperfusion. In the test for effective dosage, methane-rich saline was administrated intraperitoneally to the rats at doses of 1, 5, 20, or 40 mL/kg at onset of reperfusion. In the test for protective effect, rats received methane-rich saline intraperitoneally at a dose of 10 mL/kg before the initiation of reperfusion. We found that methane-rich saline significantly decreased serum alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase activity, and the occurrence of necrosis. Moreover, methane-rich saline reduced the amount of caspase-3 and the number of apoptotic cells. In addition, methane-rich saline increased the level of superoxide dismutase and decreased the level of malondialdehyde and 8-hydroxyguanosine. Furthermore, research indicated that methane-rich saline markedly decreased gene expression and content of tumor necrosis factor-! and interleukin-6. Also, reduced CD68-positive cells showed decreased inflammatory cells in the liver. Our results suggest that methane protects the liver against I/R injury through antiapoptotic, antioxidative, and anti-inflammatory actions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-187
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Hepatic I/R injury
  • Inflammation
  • Methane
  • Oxidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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