Evidence that endogenous hydrogen sulfide exerts an excitatory effect on gastric motility in mice

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The present study was designed to investigate the effect of endogenous hydrogen sulfide (H2S) on gastric motility in mice. Western blotting and immunocytochemistry were used to determine expression levels of the H2S-producing enzymes cystathionine-β-synthase (CBS) and cystathionine-γ-lyase (CSE) in gastric tissues and cultured smooth muscle cells. Physiological and intracellular recordings and the whole-cell patch clamp technique were used to evaluate the effect of H2S on the mechanical and electrical activities in muscle strips and in isolated smooth muscle cells, respectively. The results showed that CBS and CSE were expressed in mouse gastric smooth muscle. NaHS, a H2S donor, inhibited the amplitude and frequency of spontaneous contraction at high concentrations (> 200 μM). However, NaHS at low concentrations (< 100 μM) enhanced the basal tension and increased the contractile amplitude of muscle strips. This excitatory effect was not altered by the blockade of the enteric nerve with TTX, but was abolished by tetraethylammonium (TEA) or 4-aminopyridine (4-AP). Aminooxyacetic acid (AOA), but not propargylglycine (PAG), caused a concentration-dependent inhibition of spontaneous contraction. This effect was restored by l-cysteine and NaHS. In addition, NaHS at low concentrations (< 100 μM) produced a depolarization of the membrane potential, whereas AOA hyperpolarized the membrane potential and decreased the amplitude of slow waves. Furthermore, AOA increased whole-cell delayed rectifier K+ current (IK(V)). These findings suggest that endogenous H2S appears to be an excitatory gaseous mediator during physiological regulation of gastric motility and this excitable effect is mediated by depolarization of the membrane potential via inhibition of IK(V).

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