Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Swamp gas' protects blood vessels from complications of diabetes

Date:
August 2, 2011
Source:
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Summary:
Hydrogen sulfide is a foul-smelling gas with an odor resembling that of rotten eggs. Sometimes called "swamp gas," this toxic substance is generally associated with decaying vegetation, sewers and noxious industrial emissions. And -- as odd as it may seem -- it also plays a critical role in protecting blood vessels from the complications of diabetes.

Hydrogen sulfide is a foul-smelling gas with an odor resembling that of rotten eggs. Sometimes called "swamp gas," this toxic substance is generally associated with decaying vegetation, sewers and noxious industrial emissions. And -- as odd as it may seem -- it also plays a critical role in protecting blood vessels from the complications of diabetes, according to a new study from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

In the last few years, work from several laboratories has shown that hydrogen sulfide is produced by the body in small amounts, and that this gas plays important roles in the circulatory system. In their new paper, published in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the UTMB researchers describe experiments with human endothelial cells (cells from the innermost layer of blood vessels) and diabetic rats that demonstrate the importance of hydrogen sulfide levels in determining whether diabetes will lead to blood vessel complications.

Dr. Szabo's team started by exposing endothelial cells to sugar at a concentration that mimicked a level found in the blood vessels of someone with diabetes. "Upon exposure to such high sugar levels, the cells started to produce increasing amounts of highly reactive toxic free radicals, and as a consequence, they began to die," said Dr. Csaba Szabo, a UTMB professor and the paper's lead author. "Low hydrogen sulfide levels accelerated this process, while constant replacement of hydrogen sulfide protected the cells against the toxic effects of high sugar."

The researchers went on to show that diabetic rats have lower levels of hydrogen sulfide in their circulatory systems than other animals. Furthermore, the team showed that treating diabetic rats for a month with hydrogen sulfide improved the function of their blood vessels.

"The loss of endothelial cell function in diabetes is a first step that leads to many complications, such as eye disease, heart disease, kidney disease, foot disease and others," Szabo said. "The observation that hydrogen sulfide can control an early checkpoint in all of these processes may open the door for new therapies."

The National Institutes of Health, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and the Shriners Hospital for Children supported this research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. K. Suzuki, G. Olah, K. Modis, C. Coletta, G. Kulp, D. Gero, P. Szoleczky, T. Chang, Z. Zhou, L. Wu, R. Wang, A. Papapetropoulos, C. Szabo. Hydrogen sulfide replacement therapy protects the vascular endothelium in hyperglycemia by preserving mitochondrial function. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1105121108

Cite This Page:

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. "'Swamp gas' protects blood vessels from complications of diabetes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110802125602.htm>.
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. (2011, August 2). 'Swamp gas' protects blood vessels from complications of diabetes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110802125602.htm
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. "'Swamp gas' protects blood vessels from complications of diabetes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110802125602.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) — West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) — A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) — Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) — Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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