Haemorrhagic shock (60 min) in the anaesthetized rat resulted in a prolonged fall in the mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) and heart rate (HR).
Pre-treatment (30 min before shock) or post-treatment (60 min after shock) with inhibitors of cystathionine γ lyase (CSE; converts cysteine into hydrogen sulphide (H2S)), dl-propargylglycine or β-cyanoalanine (50 mg kg−1, i.v.), or glibenclamide (40 mg kg−1, i.p.), produced a rapid, partial restoration in MAP and HR. Neither saline nor DMSO affected MAP or HR.
Plasma H2S concentration was elevated 60 min after blood withdrawal (37.5±1.3 μm, n=18 c.f. 28.9±1.4 μm, n=15, P<0.05).
The conversion of cysteine to H2S by liver (but not kidney) homogenates prepared from animals killed 60 min after withdrawal of blood was significantly increased (52.1±1.6 c.f. 39.8±4.1 nmol mg protein−1, n=8, P<0.05), as was liver CSE mRNA (2.7 ×). Both PAG (IC50, 55.0±3.2 μm) and BCA (IC50, 6.5±1.2 μm) inhibited liver H2S synthesizing activity in vitro.
Pre-treatment of animals with PAG or BCA (50 mg kg−1, i.p.) but not glibenclamide (40 mg kg−1, i.p., KATP channel inhibitor) abolished the rise in plasma H2S in animals exposed to 60 min haemorrhagic shock and prevented the augmented biosynthesis of H2S from cysteine in liver.
These results demonstrate that H2S plays a role in haemorrhagic shock in the rat. CSE inhibitors may provide a novel approach to the treatment of haemorrhagic shock.
British Journal of Pharmacology (2004) 143, 881–889. doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0706014