In this study, we determined the cardioprotective effects of S-propargyl-cysteine (SPRC), a structural analog of S-allylcysteine (SAC), using in vivo models of acute myocardial infarction (MI) and in vitro hypoxic cardiomyocytes models. MI was created in rats by ligating the left anterior descending coronary artery. Plasma enzymes levels and cystathionine-gamma-lyase (CSE) activities were determined. Primary cultures of newborn rats' cardiomyocytes were injured by hypoxia for 6 h. Cell viabilities were measured with the thiazolyl blue assay. RT-PCR and western blot analysis revealed the expression of CSE in both models. The protective effects of SPRC were associated with an observed reduction in infarct size (20.8 +/- 2.4% vs. 36.0 +/- 1.3%), decreased plasma enzymes levels and reduced malondialdehyde levels when compared to the MI vehicle group (P < 0.05); cardiac function was also improved. SPRC increased CSE activity and plasma H2S concentration by 1.6-fold and 1.3-fold, respectively, in MI rats. Decreased cell viability (64.5 +/- 5.4%) in hypoxic cardiomyocytes could be rescued with use of SPRC (81.0 +/- 3.1%). Similarly, mRNA and protein expression of CSE were upregulated in the SPRC group. Treatment with the CSE inhibitor propargylglycine abolished the protective effects of SPRC. Our study provides novel evidence that SPRC is protective in myocardial infarctions via a H2S-related pathway.