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Cell therapy using bone marrow multipotential stromal cells/mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is a promising approach in the field of regenerative medicine. However, one of the challenges facing this field is the low frequency of MSCs in adult bone marrow, which necessitates ex vivo expansion of MSCs after harvest. This manipulation can cause cellular senescence, resulting in a loss of differentiation, proliferative, and therapeutic potentials of MSCs.

A new study published in the journal Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications suggests that hydrogen gas treatment may be able to prolong the replicative lifespan of MSCs while preserving their differentiation and paracrine potentials. The study, conducted by Haruhisa Kawasaki, Jianjun Guan, and Kenichi Tamama, found that the addition of 3% hydrogen gas to MSC preparations enhanced the preservation of colony-forming early progenitor cells and prolonged the in vitro replicative lifespan of MSCs without losing their differentiation and paracrine capabilities.

The mechanism by which hydrogen gas is able to prolong the lifespan of MSCs is not fully understood. However, the study suggests that hydrogen molecules may prevent the senescent process during MSC expansion by selectively reducing hydroxyl radicals, which are known to promote cell senescence in vivo and in vitro. The study also found that hydrogen gas treatment did not decrease hydroxyl radical, protein carbonyl, and 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine levels, suggesting that scavenging hydroxyl radicals may not be responsible for the effects of hydrogen gas in this study.

These findings are exciting and suggest that hydrogen water may have a potential role in the field of regenerative medicine. However, further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms by which hydrogen gas is able to prolong the lifespan of MSCs and to determine whether these findings can be translated to the clinical setting.

In the meantime, drinking hydrogen water is generally considered safe and has been shown to have potential health benefits such as reducing oxidative stress and inflammation. As always, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet or supplement regimen.

Kawasaki, H., J.J. Guan, and K. Tamama,  Hydrogen gas treatment prolongs replicative lifespan of bone marrow multipotential stromal cells in vitro while preserving differentiation and paracrine potentials. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 2010. 397(3): p. 608-613.