The mechanism of action and role of hydrogen sulfide in the control of vascular tone

Eleni Dongó, Gabriella Beliczai-Marosi, Ane Stensønes Dybvig, Levente Kiss

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

10 Citations (Scopus)


Our knowledge about hydrogen sulfide (H2S) significantly changed over the last two decades. Today it is considered as not only a toxic gas but also as a gasotransmitter with diverse roles in different physiological and pathophysiological processes. H2S has pleiotropic effects and its possible mechanisms of action involve (1) a reversible protein sulfhydration which can alter the function of the modified proteins similar to nitrosylation or phosphorylation; (2) direct antioxidant effects and (3) interaction with metalloproteins. Its effects on the human cardiovascular system are especially important due to the high prevalence of hypertension and myocardial infarction. The exact molecular targets that affect the vascular tone include the KATP channel, the endothelial nitric oxide synthase, the phosphodiesterase of the vascular smooth muscle cell and the cytochrome c oxidase among others and the combination of all these effects lead to the final result on the vascular tone. The relative role of each effect depends immensely on the used concentration and also on the used donor molecules but several other factors and experimental conditions could alter the final effect. The aim of the current review is to give a comprehensive summary of the current understanding on the mechanism of action and role of H2S in the regulation of vascular tone and to outline the obstacles that hinder the better understanding of its effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-87
Number of pages13
JournalNitric Oxide - Biology and Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018



  • Hydrogen sulfide
  • Hypertension
  • Mechanism of action
  • Perivascular adipose tissue
  • Protein sulfhydration
  • Vascular tone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cancer Research

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