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Biofactors. 2017 May 6;43(3):434-450. doi: 10.1002/biof.1354. Epub 2017 Apr 10.

Hydrogen sulfide attenuates homocysteine-induced cognitive deficits and neurochemical alterations by improving endogenous hydrogen sulfide levels.

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Department of Biochemistry, Panjab University, Chandigarh, 160014, India.
Department of Neurology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, 160012, India.


Hyperomocysteinemia (HHcy) has been associated with mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Hydrogen sulfide (H2 S) has been suggested to be an endogenous modulator of neuronal functions. However, the effect and mechanisms involved in beneficial effect of H2 S has not been investigated in homocysteine (Hcy)-induced cognitive deficits. This study has been designed to evaluate the effect of exogenous H2 S on behavioral deficits and neurochemical alterations in HHcy animals. Hcy levels were significantly elevated in plasma, cortex, and hippocampus of Hcy administered animals. A progressive decline in memory functions and increased anxiolytic behavior was observed in HHcy animals. This was accompanied by decrease in endogenous H2 S levels along with decreased activity of cystathionase (CSE) and cystathionine β-synthase (CBS). However, a significant increase in CSE and CBS mRNAs was observed. In addition, the catecholamine and serotonin levels were reduced and the activity of monoamine oxidase A and B were increased in brain regions of HHcy animals. Haematoxylin and eosin staining revealed higher number of pyknotic cells in brain regions of HHcy animals. H2 S administration was found to lower elevated plasma and brain Hcy levels. The activities of CBS, CSE, and levels of H2 S were restored in HHcy animals administered H2 S. Exogenous H2 S also ameliorated behavioral deficits accompanied by significant increase in catecholamines. Histological analysis revealed normal cell morphology in Hcy-treated animals supplemented with H2 S. These results clearly demonstrate that the protective effect of H2 S on Hcy-induced cognitive deficits is mediated through increased catecholamine and H2 S levels thereby suggesting its beneficial role in preventing HHcy-induced neurodegeneration.


behavior; catecholamines; homocysteine; hydrogen sulfide; hyperhomocysteinemia; neurotransmitters

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