Potential applications of hydrogen sulfide-induced suspended animation

Curr Med Chem. 2009;16(10):1295-303. doi: 10.2174/092986709787846631.


A suspended animation-like state has been induced in rodents with the use of hydrogen sulfide, resulting in hypothermia with a concomitant reduction in metabolic rate. Also oxygen demand was reduced, thereby protecting against hypoxia. Several therapeutic applications of induction of a hibernation-like state have been suggested, including ischemia-reperfusion injury. More recently, hydrogen sulfide has been found to be protective in states of exaggerated inflammatory responses, such as acute lung injury. Possible mechanisms of this protective effect may include reduction of metabolism, as well as reduction of inflammation. In this manuscript, the methods of inducing a suspended animation-like state in experimental models using hydrogen sulfide are described. We discuss the effects of hydrogen sulfide-induced hypo-metabolism on hemodynamic, metabolic and inflammatory changes in animal models of various hypoxic and inflammatory diseases. In addition, potential therapeutic possibilities of hydrogen sulfide-induced hibernation are outlined.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Hibernation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Sulfide / chemistry*
  • Hydrogen Sulfide / pharmacology
  • Hypoxia
  • Inflammation


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Hydrogen Sulfide