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Cardiovascular Regulation by Sulfur-containing Gaseous Signaling Molecules and the Underlying Mechanisms: Updated Research Evidence

HUANG Ya-Qian;TANG Chao-Shu;DU Jun-Bao;JIN Hong-Fang;Department of Peking University First Hospital;Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology,Peking University Health Sciences Centre;  
The sulfur-containing gases hydrogen sulfide( H_2S) and sulfur dioxide( SO_2) were previously considered to be waste gases. Recent studies showed that they could be endogenously generated from metabolism of the sulfur-containing amino acids in mammals. Endogenous H_2S and SO_2 generation pathways also existed in the cardiovascular system. H_2S and SO_2 had important physiological effects in the cardiovascular system including vasorelaxation and myocardial negative inotropic effect. The pathophysiological effects of H_2S and SO_2 in the cardiovascular system have been recognized,such as alleviating hypertension and pulmonary hypertension,inhibiting the development of atherosclerosis,and protecting against myocardial ischemia-reperfusion( I / R) injury and isoproterenol-induced myocardial injury. Adenosine triphosphate-sensitive potassium( KATP) channel,L-type calcium( L-Ca~(2+)) channel,c GMP,NF-κB signaling pathway and MAPK signaling pathway and so on participated in the biological effects of H_2S and SO_2. The above findings suggested that H_2S and SO_2 were important endogenous gaseous signaling molecules in the cardiovascular system,which provided a new way to elucidate the pathogenesis and therapeutic targets of cardiovascular diseases.
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