Hydrogen sulfide mitigates matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity and neurovascular permeability in hyperhomocysteinemic mice

Neetu Tyagi, Srikanth Givvimani, Natia Qipshidze, Soumi Kundu, Shray Kapoor, Jonathan C Vacek, Suresh C Tyagi
Neurochemistry International 2010, 56 (2): 301-7
An elevated level of homocysteine (Hcy), known as hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy), was associated with neurovascular diseases. At physiological levels, hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S) protected the neurovascular system. Because Hcy was also a precursor of hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S), we sought to test whether the H(2)S protected the brain during HHcy. Cystathionine-beta-synthase heterozygous (CBS+/-) and wild type (WT) mice were supplemented with or without NaHS (30 microM/L, H(2)S donor) in drinking water. Blood flow and cerebral microvascular permeability in pial vessels were measured by intravital microscopy in WT, WT+NaHS, CBS-/+ and (CBS-/+)+NaHS-treated mice. The brain tissues were analyzed for matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP) by Western blot and RT-PCR. The mRNA levels of CBS and cystathionine gamma lyase (CSE, enzyme responsible for conversion of Hcy to H(2)S) genes were measured by RT-PCR. The results showed a significant increase in MMP-2, MMP-9, TIMP-3 protein and mRNA in CBS (-/+) mice, while H(2)S treatment mitigated this increase. Interstitial localization of MMPs was also apparent through immunohistochemistry. A decrease in protein and mRNA expression of TIMP-4 was observed in CBS (-/+) mice. Microscopy data revealed increase in permeability in CBS (-/+) mice. These effects were ameliorated by H(2)S and suggested that physiological levels of H(2)S supplementation may have therapeutic potential against HHcy-induced microvascular permeability, in part, by normalizing the MMP/TIMP ratio in the brain.

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