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Hydrogen sulfide could help lower blood pressure

Date:
January 29, 2015
Source:
University of Exeter
Summary:
A new compound, called AP39, which generates minute quantities of the gas hydrogen sulfide inside cells, could be beneficial in cases of high blood pressure and diseases of the blood vessels that occur with aging and diabetes, new research suggests.
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A gas that gives rotten eggs their distinctive odor could one day form the basis of new cardiovascular therapies. Research has indicated that a new compound, called AP39, which generates minute quantities of the gas hydrogen sulfide inside cells, could be beneficial in cases of high blood pressure and diseases of the blood vessels that occur with aging and diabetes.

In such conditions, the body's own levels of hydrogen sulfide are depleted, thought to be consumed by oxidants in the tissues and blood. Now, in laboratory tests, studies led by University of Exeter Medical School, in collaboration with the Slovak Academy of Sciences, found that replenishing these levels through tiny doses of AP39 yielded significant benefits.

The work, supported by the Slovak Research and Development Agency and published in the Nitric Oxide Journal special edition on hydrogen sulfide, found that administration of AP39 to animals with high blood pressure significantly lowered heart rate, blood pressure and blood vessel stiffness.

Professor Matt Whiteman, of the University of Exeter Medical School, who led the study, said: "This research significantly adds to our growing body of evidence that hydrogen sulfide could hold the key to new and effective therapies in humans. We are still at an early stage, but so far the key to success appears to be getting hydrogen sulfide delivered to the right place inside cells and mimicking the way the body naturally produces this gas. The mechanism may be through blocking a calcium channel on the heart that regulates heartbeat, slowing it down. Clinically used drugs which also block this channel have similar effects, but more than 10 fold higher doses are required."

The research team is now investigating the effects of AP39 in other models of heart and blood vessel disease, such as cardiac arrest and heart attacks.


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Exeter. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lenka Tomasova, Michaela Pavlovicova, Lubica Malekova, Anton Misak, Frantisek Kristek, Marian Grman, Sona Cacanyiova, Milan Tomasek, Zuzana Tomaskova, Alexis Perry, Mark E. Wood, Lubica Lacinova, Karol Ondrias, Matthew Whiteman. Effects of AP39, a novel triphenylphosphonium derivatised anethole dithiolethione hydrogen sulfide donor, on rat haemodynamic parameters and chloride and calcium Cav3 and RyR2 channels. Nitric Oxide, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.niox.2014.12.012

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University of Exeter. "Hydrogen sulfide could help lower blood pressure." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 January 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150129104305.htm>.
University of Exeter. (2015, January 29). Hydrogen sulfide could help lower blood pressure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 26, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150129104305.htm
University of Exeter. "Hydrogen sulfide could help lower blood pressure." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150129104305.htm (accessed May 26, 2017).

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