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Proper stem cell function requires hydrogen sulfide

Date:
April 17, 2014
Source:
University of Southern California
Summary:
Stem cells in bone marrow need to produce hydrogen sulfide in order to properly multiply and form bone tissue, according to a new study. Researchers demonstrated that mice's osteoporosis-like condition could be rescued by administering small molecules that release hydrogen sulfide inside the body. The results indicate that a similar treatment may have potential to help human patients.

Professor Songtao Shi.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Southern California

Stem cells in bone marrow need to produce hydrogen sulfide in order to properly multiply and form bone tissue, according to a new study from the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology at the Ostrow School of Dentistry.

Professor Songtao Shi, principal investigator on the project, said the presence of hydrogen sulfide produced by the cells governs the flow of calcium ions. The essential ions activate a chain of cellular signals that results in osteogenesis, or the creation of new bone tissue, and keeps the breakdown of old bone tissue at a proper level.

Conversely, having a hydrogen sulfide deficiency disrupted bone homeostasis and resulted in a condition similar to osteoporosis -- weakened, brittle bones -- in experimental mice. In humans, osteoporosis can cause serious problems such as bone fractures, mobility limitations and spinal problems; more than 52 million Americans have or are at risk for the disease.

However, Shi and his team demonstrated that the mice's condition could be rescued by administering small molecules that release hydrogen sulfide inside the body. The results indicate that a similar treatment may have potential to help human patients, Shi said.

"These results demonstrate hydrogen sulfide regulates bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells, and restoring hydrogen sulfide levels via non-toxic donors may provide treatments for diseases such as osteoporosis, which can arise from hydrogen sulfide deficiencies," Shi said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southern California. The original article was written by Beth Newcomb. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yi Liu, Ruili Yang, Xibao Liu, Yu Zhou, Cunye Qu, Takashi Kikuiri, Songlin Wang, Ebrahim Zandi, Junbao Du, Indu S. Ambudkar, Songtao Shi. Hydrogen Sulfide Maintains Mesenchymal Stem Cell Function and Bone Homeostasis via Regulation of Ca2 Channel Sulfhydration. Cell Stem Cell, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2014.03.005

Cite This Page:

University of Southern California. "Proper stem cell function requires hydrogen sulfide." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140417124708.htm>.
University of Southern California. (2014, April 17). Proper stem cell function requires hydrogen sulfide. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140417124708.htm
University of Southern California. "Proper stem cell function requires hydrogen sulfide." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140417124708.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

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