Hydrogen sulfide protects blood-brain barrier integrity following cerebral ischemia

Yali Wang, Jia Jia, Guizhen Ao, Lifang Hu, Hui Liu, Yunqi Xiao, Huaping Du, Nabil J. Alkayed, Chun Feng Liu, Jian Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


By using two structurally unrelated hydrogen sulfide (H2S) donors 5-(4-methoxyphenyl) -3H-1, 2-dithiole-3-thione (ADT) and sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS), this study investigated if H2S protected blood-brain barrier (BBB) integrity following middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). ICR mice underwent MCAO and received H2S donors at 3 h after reperfusion. Infarction, neurological scores, brain edema, Evans blue (EB) extravasation, and tight junction protein expression were examined at 48 h after MCAO. We also investigated if ADT protected BBB integrity by suppressing post-ischemic inflammation-induced Matrix Metalloproteimase-9 (MMP9) and Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase (NOX). ADT increased blood H2S concentrations, decreased infarction, and improved neurological deficits. Particularly, ADT reduced EB extravasation, brain edema and preserved expression of tight junction proteins in the ischemic brain. NaHS also increased blood H2S levels and reduced EB extravasation following MCAO. Moreover, ADT inhibited expression of pro-inflammatory markers induced Nitric Oxide Synthase (iNOS) and IL-1β while enhanced expression of anti-inflammatory markers arginase 1 and IL-10 in the ischemic brain. Accordingly, ADT attenuated ischemia-induced expression and activity of MMP9. Moreover, ADT reduced NOX-4 mRNA expression, NOX activity, and inhibited nuclear translocation of Nuclear Factor Kappa-B (NF-κB) in the ischemic brain. In conclusion, H2S donors protected BBB integrity following experimental stroke possibly by acting through NF-κB inhibition to suppress neuroinflammation induction of MMP9 and NOX4-derived free radicals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)827-838
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of neurochemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Blood-brain barrier
  • cerebral ischemia
  • hydrogen sulfide
  • vasoprotection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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