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Antioxid Redox Signal. 2007 Feb;9(2):257-69.

Differentiated astrocytes acquire sensitivity to hydrogen sulfide that is diminished by the transformation into reactive astrocytes.

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National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Kodaira, Tokyo, Japan.


Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) enhances the induction of hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) and induces calcium waves in astrocytes. Based on these observations, H2S has been proposed to be a synaptic modulator in the brain. Here we show that differentiated astrocytes acquire sensitivity to H2S that is diminished by their transformation into reactive astrocytes. Although sodium hydrosulfide hydrate (NaHS), a donor of H2S, did not increase the intracellular concentration of Ca2+ in progenitors, exposure of progenitors to leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), which induces differentiation into glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive astrocytes, greatly increased the sensitivity to NaHS. In contrast, epidermal growth factor (EGF), transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-alpha), dibutyryl cyclic AMP (db cAMP) and interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) induced the conversion to reactive astrocytes with diminished sensitivity to NaHS. This suppressive effect of EGF on the sensitivity to NaHS was inhibited by cycloheximide, indicating that de novo protein synthesis was required for the suppression of H2S sensitivity.

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