Hydrogen sulphide-induced relaxation of porcine peripheral bronchioles.Br J Pharmacol. 2013 Apr; 168(8):1902-10.BJ
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
Hydrogen sulphide (H2S) is an endogenous gasotransmitter. Although it has been shown to elicit responses in vascular and other smooth muscle preparations, a role for endogenously produced H2S in mediating airway tone has yet to be demonstrated. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine whether H2S is produced within the airways and to determine the functional effect on airway tone.
Small peripheral airways (<5 mm in diameter) from porcine lungs were set up in isolated tissue baths, pre-contracted with the muscarinic agonist carbachol, and then exposed to either the H2S donor sodium hydrosulphide (NaHS), or the precursor L-cysteine. H2S production from L-cysteine or 3-mercaptopyruvate in tissue homogenates was measured by the methylene blue assay. Expression of the H2S-synthesizing enzymes cystathionine β-synthase (CBS), cystathionine γ lyase (CSE) and 3-mercaptopyruvate sulphurtransferase (3-MST) were measured by Western blotting.
NaHS caused a large relaxation of the airways, which was inhibited partially by pre-contraction with KCl or exposure to tetraethylammonium, but not glibenclamide, paxilline or 4-aminopyridine. L-cysteine also caused a relaxation of the airways which was inhibited by the CBS inhibitor aminooxyacetic acid. Tissue homogenates from airways exposed to L-cysteine or 3-mercaptopyruvate in vitro showed a significant production of H2S. Western blotting demonstrated immunoreactivity to CBS, CSE and 3-MST enzymes in the airways.
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS
These data demonstrate that H2S can be produced endogenously within porcine airways causing relaxation. The mechanism of relaxation depends, in part, on K(+) channel activity.