Acta pharmacologica Sinica

Hydrogen sulfide and translational medicine.

PMID 24096643


Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) along with carbon monoxide and nitric oxide is an important signaling molecule that has undergone large numbers of fundamental investigations. H2S is involved in various physiological activities associated with the regulation of homeostasis, vascular contractility, pro- and anti-inflammatory activities, as well as pro- and anti-apoptotic activities etc. However, the actions of H2S are influenced by its concentration, reaction time, and cell/disease types. Therefore, H2S is a signaling molecule without definite effect. The use of existing H2S donors is limited because of the instant release and short lifetime of H2S. Thus, translational medicine involving the sustained and controlled release of H2S is of great value for both scientific and clinical uses. H2S donation can be manipulated by different ways, including where H2S is given, how H2S is donated, or the specific structures of H2S-releasing drugs and H2S donor molecules. This review briefly summarizes recent progress in research on the physiological and pathological functions of H2S and H2S-releasing drugs, and suggests hope for future investigations.