The potential mechanisms of the inert gas on protecting neuron system after ischemia.

 * Argon activates the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor by acting at the benzodiazepine binding site and GABA receptor agonists can come into being neuroprotection after ischemia via the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI-3K)/Akt(protein kinase B) pathway or by abating the phosphorylation of the NR2A subunit of the N-methyl D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor. ASK-1: Apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1; MKK: mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase; TNK: tenecteplase.


Med Gas Res. 2018 Jul 3;8(2):64-66. doi: 10.4103/2045-9912.235129. eCollection 2018 Apr-Jun.

The role of argon in stroke.

Li X1, Zhang ZW1, Wang Z1, Li JQ1, Chen G1.

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Stroke, also known as "cerebrovascular accident", is an acute cerebrovascular disease that is caused by a sudden rupture of blood vessels in the brain or obstruction of the blood supply by blockage of blood vessels, thus including hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes. The incidence of ischemic stroke is higher than that of hemorrhagic stroke, and accounts for 80% of the total number of strokes. However, the mortality rate of hemorrhagic stroke is relatively high. Internal carotid artery and vertebral artery occlusion and stenosis can cause ischemic stroke, and especially males over 40 years of age are at a high risk of morbidity. According to the survey, stroke in urban and rural areas has become the first cause of death in China. It is also the leading cause of disability in Chinese adults. In a word, stroke is characterized by high morbidity, high mortality and high disability rates.

 * Studies have shown that many noble gases have the neuroprotective effects.

For example, xenon has been extensively studied in various animal models of neurological injury including stroke, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Compared to xenon, Argon, as a noble gas, is abundant, cheap and widely applicable, and has been also demonstrated to be neuroprotective in many research studies.

In a variety of models, ranging from oxygen-glucose deprivation in cell culture to complex models of mid-cerebral artery occlusion, subarachnoid hemorrhage or retinal ischemia-reperfusion injury in animals. Argon administration after individual injury demonstrated favorable effects, particularly increased cell survival and even improved neuronal function. Therefore the neuroprotective effects of argon may be of possible clinical use for opening a potential therapeutic window in stroke. It is important to illuminate the mechanisms of argon in nerve function and to explore the best use of this gas in stroke treatment.

Med Gas Res. 2019 Apr-Jun;9(2):80-87. doi: 10.4103/2045-9912.260649.

Recent advances in the neuroprotective effects of medical gases.

Wang YZ1, Li TT1, Cao HL1, Yang WC1.

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Central nervous system injuries are a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Although the exact pathophysiological mechanisms of various brain injuries vary, central nervous system injuries often result in an inflammatory response, and subsequently lead to brain damage. This suggests that neuroprotection may be necessary in the treatment of multiple disease models. The use of medical gases as neuroprotective agents has gained great attention in the medical field. Medical gases include common gases, such as oxygen, hydrogen and carbon dioxide; hydrogen sulphide and nitric oxide that have been considered toxic; volatile anesthetic gases, such as isoflurane and sevoflurane; and inert gases like helium, argon, and xenon. The neuroprotection from these medical gases has been investigated in experimental animal models of various types of brain injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, stroke, subarachnoid hemorrhage, cerebral ischemic/reperfusion injury, and neurodegenerative diseases. Nevertheless, the transition into the clinical practice is still lagging. This delay could be attributed to the contradictory paradigms and the conflicting results that have been obtained from experimental models, as well as the presence of inconsistent reports regarding their safety. In this review, we summarize the potential mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective effects of medical gases and discuss possible candidates that could improve the outcomes of brain injury.

Curr Drug Targets. 2013 Jan 1;14(1):56-73.

Inhalation gases or gaseous mediators as neuroprotectants for cerebral ischaemia.

Sutherland BA1, Harrison JCNair SMSammut IA.

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Ischaemic stroke is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. While recombinant tissue plasminogen activator can be administered to produce thrombolysis and restore blood flow to the ischaemic brain, therapeutic benefit is only achieved in a fraction of the subset of patients eligible for fibrinolytic intervention. Neuroprotective therapies attempting to restrict the extent of brain injury following cerebral ischaemia have not been successfully translated into the clinic despite overwhelming pre-clinical evidence of neuroprotection. Therefore, an adequate treatment for the majority of acute ischaemic stroke patients remains elusive. In the stroke literature, the use of therapeutic gases has received relatively little attention. Gases such as hyperbaric and normobaric oxygen, xenon, hydrogen, helium and argon all possess biological effects that have shown to be neuroprotective in pre-clinical models of ischaemic stroke.

There are significant advantages to using gases including their relative abundance, low cost and feasibility for administration, all of which make them ideal candidates for a translational therapy for stroke. In addition, modulating cellular gaseous mediators including nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen sulphide may be an attractive option for ischaemic stroke therapy. Inhalation of these gaseous mediators can also produce neuroprotection, but this strategy remains to be confirmed as a viable therapy for ischaemic stroke. This review highlights the neuroprotective potential of therapeutic gas therapy and modulation of gaseous mediators for ischaemic stroke. The therapeutic advantages of gaseous therapy offer new promising directions in breaking the translational barrier for ischaemic stroke.

Crit Care. 2009;13(6):R206. doi: 10.1186/cc8214. Epub 2009 Dec 17.

Argon: neuroprotection in in vitro models of cerebral ischemia and traumatic brain injury.

Loetscher PD1, Rossaint JRossaint RWeis JFries MFahlenkamp ARyang YMGrottke OCoburn M.

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Recently, it has been shown in several experimental settings that the noble gases xenon and helium have neuroprotective properties. In this study we tested the hypothesis that the noble gas argon has a neuroprotective potential as well. Since traumatic brain injury and stroke are widespread and generate an enormous economic and social burden, we investigated the possible neuroprotective effect in in vitro models of traumatic brain injury and cerebral ischemia.


Organotypic hippocampal slice cultures from mice pups were subjected to either oxygen-glucose deprivation or to a focal mechanical trauma and subsequently treated with three different concentrations (25, 50 and 74%) of argon immediately after trauma or with a two-or-three-hour delay. After 72 hours of incubation tissue injury assessment was performed using propidium iodide, a staining agent that becomes fluorescent when it diffuses into damaged cells via disintegrated cell membranes.


We could show argon's neuroprotective effects at different concentrations when applied directly after oxygen-glucose deprivation or trauma. Even three hours after application, argon was still neuroprotective.


 * Argon showed a neuroprotective effect in both in vitro models of oxygen-glucose deprivation and traumatic brain injury. Our promising results justify further in vivo animal research.