The role of hydrogen sulfide in pathologies of the vital organs and its clinical application

J Physiol Pharmacol. 2015 Apr;66(2):169-79.


Hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S) is one of the more recently recognised gaseous transmitters that have been shown to be involved in a large range of cellular functions. While H(2)S generally has pro-survival and anti-apoptotic effects, at higher concentrations, this effect is reversed and it becomes anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic instead. H(2)S is also involved in a number of organ specific functions such as thermoregulation, modulating myocardial activity and broncho-dilation. H(2)S has organ protective effects in ischaemia, acting as a vasodilator and negative inotrope to reduce blood pressure. H(2)S generally has a protective effect in acute inflammation and oxidative stress from causes such as allergy and toxins. In chronic organ pathology, low H(2)S levels have been observed in a number of different diseases, while there is evidence that H(2)S may be beneficial in a number of chronic organ degenerations. A number of studies on human tissue and cell line conducted in the recent years shows H(2)S exerting largely similar effects in humans as those in animals. This may indicate that the pharmacological potential of H(2)S modulators could have therapeutic value in a large range of acute conditions such as ischaemia, toxin exposure as well as chronic conditions such as hypertension, lung diseases and neurodegenerative disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chronic Disease / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Sulfide / metabolism*
  • Ischemia / drug therapy
  • Ischemia / metabolism
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / administration & dosage


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Hydrogen Sulfide