Hydrogen Sulfide Abstracts 5 - Natural

© 2012

Hydrogen sulfide mediates the vasoactivity of garlic.

            (Benavides, Squadrito et al. 2007) Download

The consumption of garlic is inversely correlated with the progression of cardiovascular disease, although the responsible mechanisms remain unclear. Here we show that human RBCs convert garlic-derived organic polysulfides into hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S), an endogenous cardioprotective vascular cell signaling molecule. This H(2)S production, measured in real time by a novel polarographic H(2)S sensor, is supported by glucose-maintained cytosolic glutathione levels and is to a large extent reliant on reduced thiols in or on the RBC membrane. H(2)S production from organic polysulfides is facilitated by allyl substituents and by increasing numbers of tethering sulfur atoms. Allyl-substituted polysulfides undergo nucleophilic substitution at the alpha carbon of the allyl substituent, thereby forming a hydropolysulfide (RS(n)H), a key intermediate during the formation of H(2)S. Organic polysulfides (R-S(n)-R'; n > 2) also undergo nucleophilic substitution at a sulfur atom, yielding RS(n)H and H(2)S. Intact aorta rings, under physiologically relevant oxygen levels, also metabolize garlic-derived organic polysulfides to liberate H(2)S. The vasoactivity of garlic compounds is synchronous with H(2)S production, and their potency to mediate relaxation increases with H(2)S yield, strongly supporting our hypothesis that H(2)S mediates the vasoactivity of garlic. Our results also suggest that the capacity to produce H(2)S can be used to standardize garlic dietary supplements.

Allylation of intraerythrocytic hemoglobin by raw garlic extracts

            (Bonaventura, Rodriguez et al. 2010) Download

Recent studies have shown that deoxygenated human red blood cells (RBCs) converted garlic-derived polysulfides into hydrogen sulfide, which in turn produced vasorelaxation in aortic ring preparations. The vasoactivity was proposed to occur via glucose- and thiol-dependent acellular reactions. In the present study, we investigated the interaction of garlic extracts with human deoxygenated RBCs and its effect on intracellular hemoglobin molecules. The results showed that garlic extract covalently modified intraerythrocytic deoxygenated hemoglobin. The modification identified consisted of an addition of 71 atomic mass units, suggesting allylation of the cysteine residues. Consistently, purified human deoxyhemoglobin reacted with chemically pure diallyl disulfide, showing the same modification as garlic extracts. Tandem mass spectrometry analysis demonstrated that garlic extract and diallyl disulfide modified hemoglobin's beta-chain at cysteine-93 (beta-93C) or cysteine-112 (beta-112C). These results indicate that garlic-derived organic disulfides as well as pure diallyl disulfide must permeate the RBC membrane and modified deoxyhemoglobin at beta-93C or beta-112C. Although the physiological role of the reported garlic extract-induced allyl modification on human hemoglobin warrants further study, the results indicate that constituents of natural products, such as those from garlic extract, modify intracellular proteins.

S-allylcysteine mediates cardioprotection in an acute myocardial infarction rat model via a hydrogen sulfide-mediated pathway

            (Chuah, Moore et al. 2007) Download

S-allylcysteine (SAC) is an organosulfur-containing compound derived from garlic. Studies have shown that garlic is beneficial in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. This study aims to elucidate if SAC is responsible for this cardioprotection using acute myocardial infarction (AMI) rat models. In addition, we hypothesized that SAC may mediate cardioprotection via a hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S)-related pathway. Rats were pretreated with saline, SAC (50 mg x kg(-1) x day(-1)), SAC + propagylglycine (PAG; 50 mg + 10 mg x kg(-1) x day(-1)) or PAG (10 mg x kg(-1) x day(-1)) for 7 days before AMI induction and killed 48 h after. Our results showed that SAC significantly lowered mortality (12.5% vs. 33.3%, P < 0.05) and reduced infarct size. SAC + PAG- and PAG-treated rats had larger infarct sizes than controls (60.9 +/- 0.01 and 62.0 +/- 0.03%, respectively, vs. 50.0 +/- 0.03%; P < 0.05). Pretreatment with SAC did not affect BP, but BP was significantly elevated in SAC + PAG and PAG-treated groups (P < 0.05). In addition, plasma H(2)S levels and left ventricular cystathionine-gamma-lyase (CSE) activities were analyzed to investigate the involvement of H(2)S. CSE is the enzyme responsible for H(2)S production in the heart. SAC increased left ventricular CSE activity in AMI rats (2.75 +/- 0.34 vs. 1.23 +/- 0.16 micromol x g protein(-1) x h(-1); P < 0.01). SAC + PAG-treated rats had significantly lower CSE activity compared with the SAC-treated group (1.22 +/- 0.27 vs. 2.75 +/- 0.34 micromol x g protein(-1) x h(-1); P < 0.05). Similarly, SAC-treated rats had higher plasma H(2)S concentration compared with controls and the SAC + PAG-treated group. Protein expression studies revealed that SAC upregulated CSE expression (1.1-fold of control; P < 0.05), whereas SAC + PAG and PAG downregulated its expression (0.88-fold of control in both groups; P < 0.005). In conclusion, our study provides novel evidence that SAC is protective in myocardial infarction via an H(2)S-related pathway.

Garlic (Allium sativum L.) and cardiovascular diseases

            (Ginter and Simko 2010) Download

Garlic is an important component in the complementary and alternative medicine. Large segments of population believe in and utilize herbal products even when these have not been as thoroughly researched as garlic. Experimental and clinical studies confirm that the ancient experience with beneficial effects of garlic holds validity even in prevention of cardiovascular disorders and other metabolic ills. Most recent data published after year 2000 convincingly point out that garlic and its various forms reduce cardiovascular risk, including abnormal plasma lipids, oxidized low density lipoproteins (LDL), abnormal platelet aggregation and a high blood pressure. Stimulation of nitric oxide generation in endothelial cells seems to be the critical preventive mechanism. Garlic may promote an anti-inflammatory environment by cytokine modulation in human blood. Cardioprotective effects of dietary garlic are mediated in large part via the generation of hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Garlic-derived organic polysulfides are converted by erythrocytes into hydrogen sulfide which relaxes vascular smooth muscle, induces vasodilation of blood vessels, and significantly reduces blood pressure. There are data on potential ability of garlic to inhibit the rate of progression of coronary calcification. Garlic as a dietary component appears to hold promise to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (Fig. 2, Ref. 46).

A new gaseous signaling molecule emerges: cardioprotective role of hydrogen sulfide

            (Lefer 2007) Download

Garlic extracts prevent oxidative stress, hypertrophy and apoptosis in cardiomyocytes: a role for nitric oxide and hydrogen sulfide

            (Lieben Louis, Murphy et al. 2012) Download

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: In ancient times, plants were recognized for their medicinal properties. Later, the arrival of synthetic drugs pushed it to the backstage. However, from being merely used for food, plants are now been widely explored for their therapeutic value. The current study explores the potential of skin and flesh extracts from a hard-necked Rocambole variety of purple garlic in preventing cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and cell death. METHODS: Norepinephrine (NE) was used to induce hypertrophy in adult rat cardiomyocytes pretreated with garlic skin and flesh extracts. Cell death was measured as ratio of rod to round shaped cardiomyocytes. Fluorescent probes were used to measure apoptosis and oxidative stress in cardiomyocytes treated with and without extracts and NE. Pharmacological blockade of nitric oxide (NO) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) were used to elucidate the mechanism of action of garlic extracts. Garlic extract samples were also tested for alliin and allicin concentrations. RESULTS: Exposure of cardiomyocytes to NE induced an increase in cell size and cell death; this increase was significantly prevented upon treatment with garlic skin and flesh extracts. Norepinephrine increased apoptosis and oxidative stress in cardiomyocytes which was prevented upon pretreatment with skin and flesh extracts; NO, and H2S blockers significantly inhibited this beneficial effect. Allicin and alliin concentration were significantly higher in garlic flesh extract when compared to the skin extract. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that both skin and flesh garlic extracts are effective in preventing NE induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and cell death. Reduction in oxidative stress may also play an important role in the anti-hypertrophic and anti-apoptotic properties of garlic extracts. These beneficial effects may in part be mediated by NO and H2S.

The polysulfide diallyl trisulfide protects the ischemic myocardium by preservation of endogenous hydrogen sulfide and increasing nitric oxide bioavailability

            (Predmore, Kondo et al. 2012) Download

Diallyl trisulfide (DATS), a polysulfide constituent found in garlic oil, is capable of the release of hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S). H(2)S is a known cardioprotective agent that protects the heart via antioxidant, antiapoptotic, anti-inflammatory, and mitochondrial actions. Here, we investigated DATS as a stable donor of H(2)S during myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (MI/R) injury in vivo. We investigated endogenous H(2)S levels, infarct size, postischemic left ventricular function, mitochondrial respiration and coupling, endothelial nitric oxide (NO) synthase (eNOS) activation, and nuclear E2-related factor (Nrf2) translocation after DATS treatment. Mice were anesthetized and subjected to a surgical model of MI/R injury with and without DATS treatment (200 mug/kg). Both circulating and myocardial H(2)S levels were determined using chemiluminescent gas chromatography. Infarct size was measured after 45 min of ischemia and 24 h of reperfusion. Troponin I release was measured at 2, 4, and 24 h after reperfusion. Cardiac function was measured at baseline and 72 h after reperfusion by echocardiography. Cardiac mitochondria were isolated after MI/R, and mitochondrial respiration was investigated. NO metabolites, eNOS phosphorylation, and Nrf2 translocation were determined 30 min and 2 h after DATS administration. Myocardial H(2)S levels markedly decreased after I/R injury but were rescued by DATS treatment (P < 0.05). DATS administration significantly reduced infarct size per area at risk and per left ventricular area compared with control (P < 0.001) as well as circulating troponin I levels at 4 and 24 h (P < 0.05). Myocardial contractile function was significantly better in DATS-treated hearts compared with vehicle treatment (P < 0.05) 72 h after reperfusion. DATS reduced mitochondrial respiration in a concentration-dependent manner and significantly improved mitochondrial coupling after reperfusion (P < 0.01). DATS activated eNOS (P < 0.05) and increased NO metabolites (P < 0.05). DATS did not appear to significantly induce the Nrf2 pathway. Taken together, these data suggest that DATS is a donor of H(2)S that can be used as a cardioprotective agent to treat MI/R injury.

Sulfide-detoxifying enzymes in the human colon are decreased in cancer and upregulated in differentiation

            (Ramasamy, Singh et al. 2006) Download

H2S is highly toxic and selectively inhibits butyrate oxidation in colonocytes. Ineffective detoxification may result in mucosal insult, inflammation, and ultimately in colorectal cancer (CRC). Rhodanese can detoxify H2S and is comprised of two isoenzymes: thiosulfate sulfurtransferase (TST) and mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase (MST). Using specific antisera to discriminate TST from MST, we found that only TST could detoxify H2S. In sections of normal colon, both enzymes were located on the luminal mucosal surface, and they were expressed in the colonocytes but not in the mucin-secreting goblet cells. Expression of both enzymes was focally lost in ulcerative colitis and markedly reduced in advanced colon cancer, the disease progression correlating with the decreased expression of MST and TST. In HT-29 cells, a human colon cancer cell line, TST activity and expression were significantly increased by butyrate and by histone deacetylase inhibition, agents that promote HT-29 cell differentiation. Sulfide (0.1 mM) also increased TST activity, but higher sulfide concentrations (0.3-3 mM) were toxic. Preincubation in butyrate to increase TST expression, decreased sensitivity of the cells to sulfide toxicity. We conclude that decreased expression of TST (or MST) is a tumor marker for CRC. TST expression is increased in colonocyte differentiation. Dysregulation of TST expression and activity resulting in inability to effectively detoxify could be a factor in the cell loss and inflammation that accompany ulcerative colitis and ultimately then in CRC.

Mechanisms of Action Involved in Ozone Therapy: Is healing induced via a mild oxidative stress?

            (Sagai and Bocci 2011) Download

ABSTRACT: The potential mechanisms of action of ozone therapy are reviewed in this paper. The therapeutic efficacy of ozone therapy may be partly due the controlled and moderate oxidative stress produced by the reactions of ozone with several biological components. The line between effectiveness and toxicity of ozone may be dependent on the strength of the oxidative stress. As with exercise, it is well known that moderate exercise is good for health, whereas excessive exercise is not.Severe oxidative stress activates nuclear transcriptional factor kappa B (NFkappaB), resulting in an inflammatory response and tissue injury via the production of COX2, PGE2, and cytokines. However, moderate oxidative stress activates another nuclear transcriptional factor, nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2). Nrf2 then induces the transcription of antioxidant response elements (ARE). Transcription of ARE results in the production of numerous antioxidant enzymes, such as SOD, GPx, glutathione-s-transferase(GSTr), catalase (CAT), heme-oxygenase-1 (HO-1), NADPH-quinone-oxidoreductase (NQO-1), phase II enzymes of drug metabolism and heat shock proteins (HSP). Both free antioxidants and anti-oxidative enzymes not only protect cells from oxidation and inflammation but they may be able to reverse the chronic oxidative stress. Based on these observations, ozone therapy may also activate Nrf2 via moderate oxidative stress, and suppress NFkappaB and inflammatory responses. Furthermore, activation of Nrf2 results in protection against neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Mild immune responses are induced via other nuclear transcriptional factors, such as nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT) and activated protein-1 (AP-1).Additionally, the effectiveness of ozone therapy in vascular diseases may also be explained by the activation of another nuclear transcriptional factor, hypoxia inducible factor-1alpha (HIF-1a), which is also induced via moderate oxidative stress. Recently these concepts have become widely accepted. The versatility of ozone in treating vascular and degenerative diseases as well as skin lesions, hernial disc and primary root carious lesions in children is emphasized. Further researches able to elucidate whether the mechanisms of action of ozone therapy involve nuclear transcription factors, such as Nrf2, NFAT, AP-1, and HIF-1alpha are warranted.

Metabolism of [3H]pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS) in healthy human volunteers            (Simon, McClanahan et al. 2005) Download

Pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS) is the active ingredient in ELMIRON, a drug approved for the relief of bladder pain associated with interstitial cystitis. The study objective was to characterize the pharmacokinetic and metabolic profiles of PPS following oral dosing of [3H]PPS. As specific assays for PPS do not exist, metabolic profiling was accomplished through multiple fraction collections and radiochromatographic techniques. Two groups of eight healthy female subjects sequentially received a single oral dose of 200 microCi [3H]PPS supplemented with 300 mg unlabelled PPS or 300 microCi [3H]PPS supplemented with 450 mg unlabelled PPS. Most of the administered dose (84%) was excreted in faeces as intact PPS, and a smaller percentage (6%) was excreted in urine. In summary, orally administered PPS was very poorly absorbed, with the majority of the drug being excreted in faeces as intact PPS and in urine as low molecular weight and desulfated PPS.

Dealing with methionine/homocysteine sulfur: cysteine metabolism to taurine and inorganic sulfur

            (Stipanuk and Ueki 2011) Download

Synthesis of cysteine as a product of the transsulfuration pathway can be viewed as part of methionine or homocysteine degradation, with cysteine being the vehicle for sulfur conversion to end products (sulfate, taurine) that can be excreted in the urine. Transsulfuration is regulated by stimulation of cystathionine beta-synthase and inhibition of methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase in response to changes in the level of S-adenosylmethionine, and this promotes homocysteine degradation when methionine availability is high. Cysteine is catabolized by several desulfuration reactions that release sulfur in a reduced oxidation state, generating sulfane sulfur or hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S), which can be further oxidized to sulfate. Cysteine desulfuration is accomplished by alternate reactions catalyzed by cystathionine beta-synthase and cystathionine gamma-lyase. Cysteine is also catabolized by pathways that require the initial oxidation of the cysteine thiol by cysteine dioxygenase to form cysteinesulfinate. The oxidative pathway leads to production of taurine and sulfate in a ratio of approximately 2:1. Relative metabolism of cysteine by desulfuration versus oxidative pathways is influenced by cysteine dioxygenase activity, which is low in animals fed low-protein diets and high in animals fed excess sulfur amino acids. Thus, desulfuration reactions dominate when cysteine is deficient, whereas oxidative catabolism dominates when cysteine is in excess. In rats consuming a diet with an adequate level of sulfur amino acids, about two thirds of cysteine catabolism occurs by oxidative pathways and one third by desulfuration pathways. Cysteine dioxygenase is robustly regulated in response to cysteine availability and may function to provide a pathway to siphon cysteine to less toxic metabolites than those produced by cysteine desulfuration reactions.

Detection of exhaled hydrogen sulphide gas in healthy human volunteers during intravenous administration of sodium sulphide

            (Toombs, Insko et al. 2010) Download

INTRODUCTION: Hydrogen sulphide (H(2)S) is an endogenous gaseous signaling molecule and potential therapeutic agent. Emerging studies indicate its therapeutic potential in a variety of cardiovascular diseases and in critical illness. Augmentation of endogenous sulphide concentrations by intravenous administration of sodium sulphide can be used for the delivery of H(2)S to the tissues. In the current study, we have measured H(2)S concentrations in the exhaled breath of healthy human volunteers subjected to increasing doses sodium sulphide in a human phase I safety and tolerability study. METHODS: We have measured reactive sulphide in the blood via ex vivo derivatization of sulphide with monobromobimane to form sulphide-dibimane and blood concentrations of thiosulfate (major oxidative metabolite of sulphide) via ion chromatography. We have measured exhaled H(2)S concentrations using a custom-made device based on a sulphide gas detector (Interscan). RESULTS: Administration of IK-1001, a parenteral formulation of Na(2)S (0.005-0.20 mg kg(-1), i.v., infused over 1 min) induced an elevation of blood sulphide and thiosulfate concentrations over baseline, which was observed within the first 1-5 min following administration of IK-1001 at 0.10 mg kg(-1) dose and higher. In all subjects, basal exhaled H(2)S was observed to be higher than the ambient concentration of H(2)S gas in room air, indicative of on-going endogenous H(2)S production in human subjects. Upon intravenous administration of Na(2)S, a rapid elevation of exhaled H(2)S concentrations was observed. The amount of exhaled H(2)S rapidly decreased after discontinuation of the infusion of Na(2)S. CONCLUSION: Exhaled H(2)S represents a detectable route of elimination after parenteral administration of Na(2)S.


Benavides, G. A., G. L. Squadrito, et al. (2007). "Hydrogen sulfide mediates the vasoactivity of garlic." Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 104(46): 17977-82.

Bonaventura, J., E. N. Rodriguez, et al. (2010). "Allylation of intraerythrocytic hemoglobin by raw garlic extracts." J Med Food 13(4): 943-9.

Chuah, S. C., P. K. Moore, et al. (2007). "S-allylcysteine mediates cardioprotection in an acute myocardial infarction rat model via a hydrogen sulfide-mediated pathway." Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 293(5): H2693-701.

Ginter, E. and V. Simko (2010). "Garlic (Allium sativum L.) and cardiovascular diseases." Bratisl Lek Listy 111(8): 452-6.

Lefer, D. J. (2007). "A new gaseous signaling molecule emerges: cardioprotective role of hydrogen sulfide." Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 104(46): 17907-8.

Lieben Louis, X. M., R. M. Murphy, et al. (2012). "Garlic extracts prevent oxidative stress, hypertrophy and apoptosis in cardiomyocytes: a role for nitric oxide and hydrogen sulfide." BMC Complement Altern Med 12(1): 140.

Predmore, B. L., K. Kondo, et al. (2012). "The polysulfide diallyl trisulfide protects the ischemic myocardium by preservation of endogenous hydrogen sulfide and increasing nitric oxide bioavailability." Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 302(11): H2410-8.

Ramasamy, S., S. Singh, et al. (2006). "Sulfide-detoxifying enzymes in the human colon are decreased in cancer and upregulated in differentiation." Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 291(2): G288-96.

Sagai, M. and V. Bocci (2011). "Mechanisms of Action Involved in Ozone Therapy: Is healing induced via a mild oxidative stress?" Med Gas Res 1: 29.

Simon, M., R. H. McClanahan, et al. (2005). "Metabolism of [3H]pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS) in healthy human volunteers." Xenobiotica 35(8): 775-84.

Stipanuk, M. H. and I. Ueki (2011). "Dealing with methionine/homocysteine sulfur: cysteine metabolism to taurine and inorganic sulfur." J Inherit Metab Dis 34(1): 17-32.

Toombs, C. F., M. A. Insko, et al. (2010). "Detection of exhaled hydrogen sulphide gas in healthy human volunteers during intravenous administration of sodium sulphide." Br J Clin Pharmacol 69(6): 626-36.