Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy is an effective adjunct in treating ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury of brain, small intestine, testis, and crushing extremities. This study was designed to test the hypotheses that preconditioning the rats with HBO could protect the liver against subsequent I/R injury. Daily treatment with one-dose HBO (90 min, 2.5 ATA) was brought about for male Sprague Dawley rats for 1 to 3 days before an I/R injury of liver. Hepatic expression of heat-shock protein 70 (Hsp70), total concentration of glutathione (GSH), activity of catalase, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and serum AST and ALT were estimated before and after HBO, as well as after I/R injury. The results showed that activity of hepatic catalase was decreased by one dose, but not three doses, of HBO as compared with baseline data. However, hepatic Hsp70 expression fluctuated insignificantly. AST and ALT increase less in rats preconditioned with one-dose HBO as compared with those without HBO or with three-dose HBO. Our results showed preconditioning by one-dose HBO protects rat liver against subsequent ischemia-reperfusion injury.
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