Cellular Effects of Helium in Different Organs

Department of Anesthesiology, Laboratory of Experimental Intensive Care and Anesthesiology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Anesthesiology (Impact Factor: 6.17). 06/2010; 112(6):1503-10. DOI: 10.1097/ALN.0b013e3181d9cb5e
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Experimental research in cardiac and neuronal tissue has shown that besides volatile anesthetics and xenon, the nonanesthetic noble gas helium also reduces ischemia-reperfusion damage. Even though the distinct mechanisms of helium-induced organ protection are not completely unraveled, several signaling pathways have been identified. Beside the protective effects on heart and brain that are mainly obtained by different pre- and postconditioning protocols, helium also exerts effects in the lungs, the immune system, and the blood vessels. Obviously, this noble gas is biochemically not inert and exerts biologic effects, although until today the question remains open on how these changes are mediated. Because of its favorable characteristics and the lack of hemodynamic side effects, helium is suitable for use also in critically ill patients. This review covers the cellular effects of helium, which may lead to new clinical strategies of tissue salvage in ischemia-reperfusion situations, both within and outside the perioperative setting.

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Available from: Nina C Weber, Aug 27, 2015
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    • "These organs can be protected against I/R injury by subjecting them to several short helium episodes according to a specific protocol, known as helium preconditioning (HPC) [4–10,13]. However, the specific mechanisms and signaling pathways responsible for HPC-induced protections remain poorly understood [14]. The phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase PI3K/Akt pathway is a survival pathway, involved in protection against various stressors. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background & Aims: Hepatic ischemia and reperfusion (I/R) injury is a major complication of liver transplantation, hepatic resection and trauma. Helium preconditioning (HPC) exerts protection against ischemic stress. We investigated potential beneficial effects of HPC on I/R-induced liver injury and investigated mechanisms underlying HPC-induced protection. Methods: We employed a model of segmental warm hepatic I/R on BALB/c mice. Serum ALT was measured and livers were analysed by histology, RT-PCR and western blot. HPC was induced by inhalation of a 70% helium/30% oxygen mixture for three 5-min periods, interspersed with three 5-min washout periods by room air. We tested which component of HPC (the helium/air mixture inhalation, the air room gap, or the interaction between these two factors) is protective. Results: We found that HPC caused a significant increase in Akt phosphorylation in hepatocytes. The HPC-induced Akt phosphorylation resulted in decreased hepatocellular injury and improved survival rate of the treated animals. PI3K inhibitors abolished HPC induced effects. HPC-induced Akt phosphorylation affected expression of its downstream molecules. The effects of HPC on the PI3K/Akt pathway were attenuated by adenosine A(2A) receptor blockade, but could be re-established by PTEN inhibition. We demonstrated that the interaction of helium/air breathing and air gaps is responsible for the observed effects of HPC. Conclusions: HPC may be a promising strategy leading to a decrease in I/R induced liver injury in clinical settings. Additionally, the PI3K/Akt pathway plays an essential role in the protective effects of HPC in hepatic I/R injury.
    Journal of Hepatology 06/2014; 61(5). DOI:10.1016/j.jhep.2014.06.020 · 10.40 Impact Factor
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    • "Noble gases are gases that have an outer shell of valence electrons and are considered to be " full " , giving them little tendency to participate in chemical reactions, and are also known as " inert " gases. However, in the past decade, increasing evidence shows that certain noble gases have biological activities, of which organ-protective properties are the most interesting (Pagel, 2010; Oei et al., 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies show helium may be one kind of neuroprotective gas. This study aimed to examine the short and long-term neuroprotective effects of helium preconditioning in an established neonatal cerebral hypoxia-ischemia (HI) model. Seven-day-old rat pups were subjected to left common carotid artery ligation and then 90 min of hypoxia (8% oxygen at 37°C). The preconditioning group inhaled 70% helium-30% oxygen for 5 min three times with an interval of 5 min 24h before HI insult. Pups were decapitated 24h after HI and brain morphological injury was assessed by 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining, Nissl and TUNEL staining. Caspase-3 activity in the brain was measured. Five weeks after HI, postural reflex testing and Morris water maze testing were conducted. Our results showed that helium preconditioning reduced the infarct ratio, increased the number of survival neurons, and inhibited apoptosis at the early stage of HI insult. Furthermore, the sensorimotor function and the cognitive function were improved significantly in rats with helium preconditioning. The results indicate that helium preconditioning attenuates HI induced brain injury.
    Brain research 02/2011; 1376:122-9. DOI:10.1016/j.brainres.2010.12.068 · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The retrotransposon Ty1 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae inserts preferentially into intergenic regions in the vicinity of RNA polymerase III-transcribed genes. It has been suggested that this preference has evolved to minimize the deleterious effects of element transposition on the host genome, and thus to favor their evolutionary survival. This presupposes that such insertions have no selective effect. However, there has been no direct test of this hypothesis. Here we construct a series of strains containing single Ty1 insertions in the vicinity of tRNA genes, or in the rDNA cluster on chromosome XII, which are otherwise isogenic to strain 337, containing zero Ty1 elements. Competition experiments between 337 and the strains containing single Ty1 insertions revealed that in all cases, the Ty1 insertions have no selective effect in rich medium. These results are thus consistent with the hypothesis that the insertion site preference of Ty1 elements has evolved to minimize the deleterious effects of transposition on the host genome.
    FEMS Yeast Research 02/2004; 4(4-5):487-91. DOI:10.1016/S1567-1356(03)00199-5 · 2.44 Impact Factor
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