Although the underlying molecular causes of aging are not entirely clear, hormetic agents like exercise, heat, and calorie restriction may generate a mild pro-oxidant stress that induces cell protective responses to promote healthy aging. As an individual ages, many cellular and physiological processes decline, including wound healing and reparative angiogenesis. This is particularly critical in patients with chronic non-healing wounds who tend to be older. We are interested in the potential beneficial effects of hyperbaric oxygen as a mild hormetic stress on human microvascular endothelial cells. We analyzed global gene expression changes in human endothelial cells following a hyperbaric exposure comparable to a clinical treatment. Our analysis revealed an upregulation of antioxidant, cytoprotective, and immediate early genes. This increase coincided with an increased resistance to a lethal oxidative stress. Our data indicate that hyperbaric oxygen can induce protection against oxidative insults in endothelial cells and may provide an easily administered hormetic treatment to help promote healthy aging.
Godman, Joshi, Giardina, Perdrizet, Hightower, , , , (2010). Hyperbaric oxygen treatment induces antioxidant gene expression. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2010 Jun;1197():178-83. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20536847