J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. 2022 Feb 15; 23(2): 102–122.
Chinese. doi: 10.1631/jzus.B2100420
Molecular hydrogen exerts a range of biological effects on almost all organs, showcasing anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties, while also contributing to the regulation of autophagy and cell death. The lungs, serving as the primary organ for gas exchange, are continually exposed to various harmful environmental irritants. Exposure, whether short- or long-term, to these detrimental substances often leads to lung injuries, resulting in respiratory and lung diseases. Acute and chronic respiratory ailments pose significant global public health challenges due to their elevated rates of morbidity and mortality. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has emerged as a worldwide pandemic.
An expanding body of research indicates that hydrogen may play a protective role against diverse lung diseases, encompassing acute lung injury, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, lung cancer, pulmonary arterial hypertension, and pulmonary fibrosis. This review aims to underscore the multifaceted functions of hydrogen and elucidate the mechanisms underpinning its protective effects in various lung diseases. Emphasis is placed on hydrogen’s roles in disease pathogenesis and its clinical significance.