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Lab Invest. 2008 Oct;88(10):1038-48. doi: 10.1038/labinvest.2008.73. Epub 2008 Aug 4.

Generation of endogenous hydrogen sulfide by cystathionine gamma-lyase limits renal ischemia/reperfusion injury and dysfunction.

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Centre for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, William Harvey Research Institute, St Bartholomew's and The Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK.


The generation of endogenous hydrogen sulfide may either limit or contribute to the degree of tissue injury caused by ischemia/reperfusion. A total of 74 male Wistar rats were used to investigate the effects of endogenous and exogenous hydrogen sulfide in renal ischemia/reperfusion. Administration of the irreversible cystathionine gamma-lyase (CSE) inhibitor, dL-propargylglycine, prevented the recovery of renal function after 45 min ischemia and 72 h reperfusion. The hydrogen sulfide donor sodium hydrosulfide attenuated the (renal, tubular, and glomerular) dysfunction and injury caused by 45 min ischemia and 6 h reperfusion. Western blot analysis of kidneys taken at 30 min reperfusion showed that sodium hydrosulfide significantly attenuated phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (p-38, c-JUN N-terminal protein kinase 1/2, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2) and activation of nuclear factor-kappaB. At 6 h reperfusion, sodium hydrosulfide significantly attenuated the histological score for acute tubular necrosis, the activation of caspase-3 and Bid, the decline in the expression of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2, and the expression of nuclear factor-kappaB-dependent proteins (inducible nitric oxide synthase, cyclo-oxygenase-2, and intercellular adhesion molecule-1). These findings suggest that (1) the synthesis of endogenous hydrogen sulfide by CSE is essential to protect the kidney against ischemia/reperfusion injury and dysfunction and aids in the recovery of renal function following ischemia/reperfusion, (2) hydrogen sulfide generated by sodium hydrosulfide reduces ischemia/reperfusion injury and dysfunction, and morphological changes of the kidney, and (3) the observed protective effects of hydrogen sulfide are due to both anti-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory effects.

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