Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fearsome-Smelling Gas Could Have Beneficial Uses In Medicine

Date:
August 27, 2008
Source:
Emory University, Woodruff Health Sciences Center
Summary:
A single breath of hydrogen sulfide, a gas best known for its rotten-egg smell, can kill. But at low concentrations, hydrogen sulfide could protect vital organs during surgery, research conducted by a new Emory University School of Medicine professor suggests.

A single breath of hydrogen sulfide, a gas best known for its rotten-egg smell, can kill. But at low concentrations, hydrogen sulfide could protect vital organs during surgery, research conducted by a new Emory University School of Medicine professor suggests.

David Lefer, PhD, professor of surgery, came to Emory this summer from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

Lefer and his co-workers recently showed that delivering hydrogen sulfide to the liver can reduce damage caused by loss and restoration of blood flow in a mouse model of liver surgery. The results are published in the August issue of the American Journal of Physiology, Heart and Circulatory Physiology.

"As a gas, hydrogen sulfide has a number of advantages," Lefer says. "It diffuses across cell membranes, it can be delivered quickly and it protects cells via several basic biochemical pathways."

The authors show that hydrogen sulfide reduces inflammation and oxidative stress when blood flow to the liver is cut off. In the study, hydrogen sulfide is given intravenously, but Lefer says it may be possible to deliver it via inhalation or orally.

Lefer says liver surgery is just one example of a situation where hydrogen sulfide may be beneficial. He and colleagues at Albert Einstein previously showed that hydrogen sulfide can limit scarring and inflammation in the heart muscles of mice after a simulated heart attack. It appears to do so by protecting the mitochondria, the cell's mini-power plants, from structural damage.

Lefer notes that hydrogen sulfide resembles another poisonous gas that has attracted considerable scientific attention over the last decade, nitric oxide. Both gases regulate blood pressure and play key roles in controlling oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress means an abundance of reactive oxygen species, harmful oxygen-containing molecules that interfere with relaxation of blood vessels and trigger the formation of lesions leading to heart attack and stroke.

Lefer says he came to Emory because of opportunities to collaborate with several scientists who work on oxidative stress.

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Diabetes Association and a research grant from the biotechnology firm Ikaria Holdings. Lefer is a paid consultant for Ikaria, which is developing technology for hydrogen sulfide delivery.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Emory University, Woodruff Health Sciences Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Emory University, Woodruff Health Sciences Center. "Fearsome-Smelling Gas Could Have Beneficial Uses In Medicine." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080825193713.htm>.
Emory University, Woodruff Health Sciences Center. (2008, August 27). Fearsome-Smelling Gas Could Have Beneficial Uses In Medicine. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080825193713.htm
Emory University, Woodruff Health Sciences Center. "Fearsome-Smelling Gas Could Have Beneficial Uses In Medicine." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080825193713.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Positive Ebola News: Outbreak 'Contained' In Nigeria

Some Positive Ebola News: Outbreak 'Contained' In Nigeria

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — The CDC says a new case of Ebola has not been reported in Nigeria for more than 21 days, leading to hopes the outbreak might be nearing its end. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN Ebola Mission Head: Immediate Action Is Crucial

UN Ebola Mission Head: Immediate Action Is Crucial

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) — The newly appointed head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), Anthony Banbury, outlines operations to tackle the virus. Duration: 00:39 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Confirms First Case of Ebola in US

CDC Confirms First Case of Ebola in US

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) — The CDC has confirmed the first diagnosed case of Ebola in the United States. The patient is being treated at a Dallas hospital after traveling earlier this month from Liberia. (Sept. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Breast Cancer Drug Extends Lives In Clinical Trial

New Breast Cancer Drug Extends Lives In Clinical Trial

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — In a clinical trial, breast cancer patients lived an average of 15 months longer when they received new drug Perjeta along with Herceptin. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins