Breathing hydrogen sulfide prevents delayed paraplegia in mice

Manabu Kakinohana, Eizo Marutani, Kentaro Tokuda, Kotaro Kida, Shizuko Kosugi, Shingo Kasamatsu, Aurora Magliocca, Kohei Ikeda, Shinichi Kai, Masahiro Sakaguchi, Shuichi Hirai, Ming Xian, Masao Kaneki, Fumito Ichinose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Delayed paraplegia complicates the recovery from spinal cord ischemia or traumatic spinal cord injury. While delayed motor neuron apoptosis is implicated in the pathogenesis, no effective treatment or preventive measures is available for delayed paraplegia. Hydrogen sulfide exerts anti-apoptotic effects. Here, we examined effects of hydrogen sulfide breathing on the recovery from transient spinal cord ischemia. Breathing hydrogen sulfide starting 23 h after reperfusion for 5 h prevented delayed paraplegia after 5 min of spinal cord ischemia. Beneficial effects of hydrogen sulfide were mediated by upregulation of anti-apoptotic Bcl-XL and abolished by nitric oxide synthase 2 deficiency. S-nitrosylation of NFkB p65 subunit, which is induced by nitric oxide derived from nitric oxide synthase 2, facilitated subsequent sulfide-induced persulfidation of p65 and transcription of anti-apoptotic genes. These results uncover the molecular mechanism of the anti-apoptotic effects of sulfide based on the interaction between nitric oxide and sulfide. Exploitation of the anti-apoptotic effects of delayed hydrogen sulfide breathing may provide a new therapeutic approach for delayed paraplegia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-250
Number of pages8
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Feb 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Hydrogen sulfide
  • Nitric oxide
  • Nitric oxide synthase 2
  • Paraplegia
  • Spinal cord ischemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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