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International Journal of Vascular Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 915983, 8 pages
Research Article

Chronic NaHS Treatment Is Vasoprotective in High-Fat-Fed ApoE−/− Mice

1School of Medical Sciences and Health Innovations Research Institute, RMIT University, Bundoora, VIC 3083, Australia
2Department of Pharmacology, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia

Received 22 March 2013; Accepted 12 June 2013

Academic Editor: Karl A. Illig

Copyright © 2013 Asha Ford et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hydrogen sulfide is emerging as an important mediator of vascular function that has antioxidant and cytoprotective effects. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of endogenous H2S and the effect of chronic exogenous H2S treatment on vascular function during the progression of atherosclerotic disease. ApoE−/− mice were fed a high-fat diet for 16 weeks and treated with the H2S donor NaHS or the cystathionine-γ-lyase (CSE) inhibitor D,L-propargylglycine (PPG), to inhibit endogenous H2S production for the final 4 weeks. Fat-fed ApoE−/− mice displayed significant aortic atherosclerotic lesions and significantly impaired endothelial function compared to wild-type mice. Importantly, 4 weeks of NaHS treatment significantly reduced vascular dysfunction and inhibited vascular superoxide generation. NaHS treatment significantly reduced the area of aortic atherosclerotic lesions and attenuated systolic blood pressure. Interestingly, inhibiting endogenous, CSE-dependent H2S production with PPG did not exacerbate the deleterious vascular changes seen in the untreated fat-fed ApoE−/− mice. The results indicate NaHS can improve vascular function by reducing vascular superoxide generation and impairing atherosclerotic lesion development. Endogenous H2S production via CSE is insufficient to counter the atherogenic effects seen in this model; however exogenous H2S treatment has a significant vasoprotective effect.