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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2016, Article ID 9049782, 11 pages
Review Article

Physiological Importance of Hydrogen Sulfide: Emerging Potent Neuroprotector and Neuromodulator

1Department of Biomedical Science, Graduate School, Kyung Hee University, No. 26, Kyungheedae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 02447, Republic of Korea
2Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, College of Medicine, Kosin University, No. 262, Gamcheon-ro, Seo-gu, Busan 49267, Republic of Korea
3Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, No. 26, Kyungheedae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 02447, Republic of Korea
4Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Medicine, Dong-A University, No. 32, Daesingongwon-ro, Seo-gu, Busan 49201, Republic of Korea

Received 6 April 2016; Accepted 24 May 2016

Academic Editor: Yanxi Pei

Copyright © 2016 Sandesh Panthi 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 an emerging neuromodulator that is considered to be a gasotransmitter similar to nitrogen oxide (NO) and carbon monoxide (CO). H2S exerts universal cytoprotective effects and acts as a defense mechanism in organisms ranging from bacteria to mammals. It is produced by the enzymes cystathionine β-synthase (CBS), cystathionine ϒ-lyase (CSE), 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase (MST), and D-amino acid oxidase (DAO), which are also involved in tissue-specific biochemical pathways for H2S production in the human body. H2S exerts a wide range of pathological and physiological functions in the human body, from endocrine system and cellular longevity to hepatic protection and kidney function. Previous studies have shown that H2S plays important roles in peripheral nerve regeneration and degeneration and has significant value during Schwann cell dedifferentiation and proliferation but it is also associated with axonal degradation and the remyelination of Schwann cells. To date, physiological and toxic levels of H2S in the human body remain unclear and most of the mechanisms of action underlying the effects of H2S have yet to be fully elucidated. The primary purpose of this review was to provide an overview of the role of H2S in the human body and to describe its beneficial effects.