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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2015, Article ID 804603, 11 pages
Research Article

Hydrogen Sulfide Alleviates Cadmium-Induced Cell Death through Restraining ROS Accumulation in Roots of Brassica rapa L. ssp. pekinensis

School of Life Science, Shanxi University, Taiyuan 030006, China

Received 29 October 2014; Accepted 15 December 2014

Academic Editor: Honglian Shi

Copyright © 2015 Liping Zhang 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 (H2S) is a cell signal molecule produced endogenously and involved in regulation of tolerance to biotic and abiotic stress in plants. In this work, we used molecular biology, physiology, and histochemical methods to investigate the effects of H2S on cadmium- (Cd-) induced cell death in Chinese cabbage roots. Cd stress stimulated a rapid increase of endogenous H2S in roots. Additionally, root length was closely related to the cell death rate. Pretreatment with sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS), a H2S donor, alleviated the growth inhibition caused by Cd in roots—this effect was more pronounced at 5 μM NaHS. Cd-induced cell death in roots was significantly reduced by 5 μM NaHS treatment. Under Cd stress, activities of the antioxidant enzymes were significantly enhanced in roots. NaHS + Cd treatment made their activities increase further compared with Cd exposure alone. Enhanced antioxidant enzyme activity led to a decline in reactive oxygen species accumulation and lipid peroxidation. In contrast, these effects were reversed by hydroxylamine, a H2S inhibitor. These results suggested that H2S alleviated the cell death caused by Cd via upregulation of antioxidant enzyme activities to remove excessive reactive oxygen species and reduce cell oxidative damage.