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Front Physiol. 2017 Oct 10;8:782. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2017.00782. eCollection 2017.

Hydrogen Sulfide Attenuates Atherosclerosis in a Partially Ligated Carotid Artery Mouse model via Regulating Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 Expression.

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Department of Cardiology, Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital, Shanghai JiaoTong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital, Shanghai JiaoTong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.


Hydrogen sulfide has been suggested to play an essential role in atherogenesis. There is a paucity of information about the association between H2S and angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), a novel homolog of ACE. Therefore, the aim of the study was to explore the role of H2S in atherosclerosis with respect to ACE2 both in vitro and in vivo. Here, a murine model of acutely disturbed flow-induced atherosclerosis by left common carotid artery (LCA) partial ligation was utilized. We found that carotid partial ligation in high-fat fed apoE-/- mice significantly inhibited endogenous H2S synthesis in LCA. Application of NaHS, an H2S donor considerably attenuated the severity of atherosclerosis with upregulating carotid expression of ACE2, thus converting pro-atherosclerotic angiotensin II (Ang II) to anti-atherosclerotic angiotensin 1-7 (Ang-(1-7)). The anti-atherosclerotic effect of NaHS was dramatically abolished by treatment with MLN-4760, an ACE2 inhibitor. In contrast, blockage of H2S formation by DL-propargylglycine exacerbated the burden of atherosclerotic plaques accompanied by inhibiting carotid expression of ACE2. At the cellular level, NaHS dose-dependently promoted the expression of ACE2 and conversion from Ang II to Ang-(1-7) in unstimulated or LPS-stimulated endothelial cells, thus exerting anti-inflammatory properties. The anti-inflammatory effect of NaHS was abrogated by pretreatment with DX600, a selective ACE2 inhibitor. In conclusion, these data provide direct evidences that endogenous H2S insufficiency exists in acute flow disturbance-induced atherosclerosis and that application of H2S may protect against atherosclerosis via upregulating ACE2 expression in endothelial cells.


ACE2; Ang II; Ang-(1-7); atherosclerosis; hydrogen sulfide

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