Endogenous hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is involved in the regulation of vascular tone. We hypothesized that the lowering of calcium and opening of potassium (K) channels as well as calcium-independent mechanisms are involved in H2S-induced relaxation in rat mesenteric small arteries. Amperometric recordings revealed that free [H2S] after addition to closed tubes of sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS), Na2S, and GYY4137 [P-(4-methoxyphenyl)-P-4-morpholinyl-phosphinodithioic acid] were, respectively, 14%, 17%, and 1% of added amount. The compounds caused equipotent relaxations in isometric myographs, but based on the measured free [H2S], GYY4137 caused more relaxation in relation to released free H2S than NaHS and Na2S in rat mesenteric small arteries. Simultaneous measurements of [H2S] and tension showed that 15 µM of free H2S caused 61% relaxation in superior mesenteric arteries. Simultaneous measurements of smooth muscle calcium and tension revealed that NaHS lowered calcium and caused relaxation of NE-contracted arteries, while high extracellular potassium reduced NaHS relaxation without corresponding calcium changes. In NE-contracted arteries, NaHS (1 mM) lowered the phosphorylation of myosin light chain, while phosphorylation of myosin phosphatase target subunit 1 remained unchanged. Protein kinase A and G, inhibitors of guanylate cyclase, failed to reduce NaHS relaxation, whereas blockers of voltage-gated KV7 channels inhibited NaHS relaxation, and blockers of mitochondrial complex I and III abolished NaHS relaxation. Our findings suggest that low micromolar concentrations of free H2S open K channels followed by lowering of smooth muscle calcium, and by another mechanism involving mitochondrial complex I and III leads to uncoupling of force, and hence vasodilation.
Copyright © 2015 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.