Supression of hemin-mediated oxidation of low-density lipoprotein and subsequent endothelial reactions by hydrogen sulfide (H2S)

Viktória Jeney, Edina Komódi, Emoke Nagy, Abolfazl Zarjou, Gregory M. Vercellotti, John W. Eaton, György Balla, József Balla

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56 Scopus citations


Heme-mediated oxidative modification of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) plays a crucial role in early atherogenesis. It has been shown that hydrogen sulfide (H2S) produced by vascular smooth muscle cells is present in plasma at a concentration of about 50 μmol/L. H2S is a strong reductant which can react with reactive oxygen species like superoxide anion and hydrogen peroxide. The current study investigated the effect of H2S on hemin-mediated oxidation of LDL and oxidized LDL (oxLDL)-induced endothelial reactions. H2S dose dependently delayed the accumulation of lipid peroxidation products-conjugated dienes, lipid hydroperoxides (LOOH), and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances-during hemin-mediated oxidation. Moreover, H2S decreased the LOOH content of both oxidized LDL and lipid extracts derived from soft atherosclerotic plaque, which was accompanied by reduced cytotoxicity. OxLDL-mediated induction of the oxidative stress responsive gene, heme oxygenase-1, was also abolished by H2S. Finally we have shown that H2S can directly protect endothelium against hydrogen peroxide and oxLDL-mediated endothelial cytotoxicity. These results demonstrate novel functions of H2S in preventing hemin-mediated oxidative modification of LDL, and consequent deleterious effects, suggesting a possible antiatherogenic action of H2S.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)616-623
Number of pages8
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Hungarian Government Grants OTKA-K61546, ETT-337/2006, RET-06/2004, and MTA-DE-11003. We thank Erika Barna for technical assistance.


  • Heme oxygenase-1
  • Hemin
  • Hydrogen sulfide
  • Lipid hydroperoxide
  • Low-density lipoprotein


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