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Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2011 Feb;236(2):169-76. doi: 10.1258/ebm.2010.010308.

Hydrogen sulfide inhibits macrophage-derived foam cell formation.

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  • 1Institute of Cardiovascular Disease and Key Laboratory for Arteriosclerology of Hunan Province, University of South China, Hengyang City, Hunan 421001, P. R. China.


Recent evidence indicates that hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S) exerts an antiatherogenic effect, but the mechanism is unclear. Formation of macrophage-derived foam cells is a crucial event in the development of atherosclerosis. Thus, we explore the effect of H(2)S on the formation of macrophage-derived foam cells. Incubation of monocyte-derived macrophages with oxidized LDL (oxLDL) alone caused significant increases both in intracellular lipids revealed by Oil-red O staining and in intracellular total cholesterol (TC) and esterified cholesterol (EC) concentrations assessed by high-performance liquid chromatography. Sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS, an H(2)S donor) remarkably abrogated oxLDL-induced intracellular lipid accumulation, and attenuated TC and EC concentrations and EC/TC ratio, whereas dl-propargylglycine (PPG) (a H(2)S-generating enzyme cystathionine gamma lyase inhibitor) exacerbated lipid accumulation and augmented TC and EC concentrations and EC/TC ratio. Incubation of 1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate (DiI)-oxLDL led to lipoprotein binding and uptake of macrophages, which was blunted by NaHS, but enhanced by PPG. Furthermore, OxLDL markedly induced CD36, scavenger receptor A (SR-A) and acyl-coenzyme A:cholesterol acyltransferase-1 (ACAT-1) expressions in macrophages, which was suppressed by NaHS (50-200 ╬╝mol/L). Finally, the down-regulations of TC and EC concentrations as well as CD36 and ACAT-1 expressions by NaHS were suppressed by glibenclamide, a K(ATP) channel blocker, but facilitated by PD98059, an extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) inhibitor. These results suggested that H(2)S inhibits foam cell formation by down-regulating CD36, SR-A and ACAT1 expressions via the K(ATP)/ERK1/2 pathway in human monocyte-derived macrophages.

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