Cell & bioscience

Exogenous hydrogen sulfide restores cardioprotection of ischemic post-conditioning via inhibition of mPTP opening in the aging cardiomyocytes.

PMID 26229588


The physiological and pathological roles of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in the regulation of cardiovascular functions have been recognized. H2S protects against the hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R)-induced injury and apoptosis of cardiomyocytes, and ischemic post-conditioning (PC) plays an important role in cardioprotection from H/R injury in neonatal cardiomyocytes but not in aging cardiomyocytes. Whether H2S is involved in the recovery of PC-induced cardioprotection in aging cardiomyocytes is unclear. In the present study, we found that both H/R and PC decreased cystathionine-γ-lyase (CSE) expression and the production rate of H2S. Supplementation of NaHS protected against H/R-induced apoptosis, the expression of cleaved caspase-3 and cleaved caspase-9, the release of cytochrome c (Cyt c), and mPTP opening. The addition of NaHS also counteracted the reduction of cell viability caused by H/R and increased the phosphorylation of ERK1/2, PI3K, Akt, GSK-3β and mitochondrial membrane potential. Additionally, NaHS increased Bcl-2 expression, promoted PKC-ε translocation to the cell membrane, and activated mitochondrial ATP-sensitive K channels (mitoKATP). PC alone did not provide cardioprotection in H/R-treated aging cardiomyocytes, which was significantly restored by the supplementation of NaHS. In conclusion, our results suggest that exogenous H2S restores PC-induced cardioprotection via the inhibition of mPTP opening by the activation of the ERK1/2-GSK-3β, PI3K-Akt-GSK-3β and PKC-ε-mitoKATP pathways in aging cardiomyocytes. These findings provide a novel target for the treatment of aging ischemic cardiomyopathy.