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J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2013 Sep;62(3):278-84. doi: 10.1097/FJC.0b013e31829875ef.

Hydrogen sulfide suppresses high glucose-induced expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 in endothelial cells.

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*Provincial Hospital affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan, China; †Institute of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Shandong Academy of Clinical Medicine, Jinan, China; ‡Department of Cell Biology, Shandong University, Jinan, China; and §Department of Endocrinology, The Second Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, China.


Hydrogen sulfide (H₂S) is a newly identified endogenous gasotransmitter that has been implicated in the pathophysiology of several biologic systems. However, the role of H₂S in the pathogenesis of diabetic vascular injury remains unclear. The aims of this study were to determine the effect of H₂S on the high glucose (HG)-induced expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) in human umbilical vein endothelial cells and to explore the possible underlying mechanisms. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells were exposed either to a normal concentration of D-glucose (5.5 mmol/L) or to HG (16.7 mmol/L) in the absence or presence of NaHS for the indicated periods. The ICAM-1 protein and messenger RNA (mRNA) levels were analyzed by Western blotting and real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, respectively. Exposure to HG for 48 or 72 hours significantly increased ICAM-1 expression at both the protein and mRNA levels, and these increases correlated with increases in both the production of intracellular reactive oxygen species and the activation of nuclear factor-κB. Pretreatment with NaHS inhibited HG-induced ICAM-1 expression at both the protein and mRNA levels and resulted in a reduction in the intracellular reactive oxygen species level and the suppression of nuclear factor-κB activity. NaHS also inhibited tumor necrosis factor-α-induced ICAM-1 protein expression, which was similar to the effect of antioxidant N-acetyl-L-cysteine. These findings indicate that H₂S might protect against HG-induced vascular damage by down-regulating ICAM-1 expression in endothelial cells.

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