Role of hydrogen sulfide in the pain processing of non-diabetic and diabetic rats

M E Velasco-Xolalpa, P Barragán-Iglesias, J E Roa-Coria, B Godínez-Chaparro, F J Flores-Murrieta, J E Torres-López, C I Araiza-Saldaña, A Navarrete, H I Rocha-González
Neuroscience 2013 October 10, 250: 786-97
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a gasotransmitter endogenously generated from the metabolism of L-cysteine by action of two main enzymes called cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) and cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE). This gas has been involved in the pain processing and insulin resistance produced during diabetes development. However, there is no evidence about its participation in the peripheral neuropathy induced by this metabolic disorder. Experimental diabetes was induced by streptozotocin (50mg/kg, i.p.) in female Wistar rats. Streptozotocin injection increased formalin-evoked flinching in diabetic rats as compared to non-diabetic rats after 2 weeks. Peripheral administration of NaHS (an exogenous donor of H2S) and L-cysteine (an endogenous donor of H2S) dose-dependently increased flinching behavior in diabetic and non-diabetic rats. Contrariwise, hydroxylamine (HA, a CBS inhibitor) and DL-propargylglycine (PPG, a CSE inhibitor) decreased formalin-induced nociceptive behavior in both experimental groups. In addition, an ineffective dose of HA and PPG partially prevented the L-cysteine-induced hyperalgesia in diabetic and non-diabetic rats. Interestingly, HA and PPG were three order of magnitude more potent in diabetic rats respect to non-diabetic rats, whereas NaHS was ten times more potent in the streptozotocin-diabetic group. Nine to 11 weeks after diabetes induction, tactile allodynia was observed in the streptozotocin-injected rats. On this condition, subcutaneous administration of PPG or HA reduced tactile allodynia in diabetic rats. Paradoxically, H2S levels were decreased in nerve sciatic, dorsal root ganglion and spinal cord, but not paw nor blood plasma, during diabetes-associated peripheral neuropathy development. Collectively, results suggest that H2S synthesized by CBS and CSE participate in formalin-induced nociception in diabetic and non-diabetic rats, as well as; in tactile allodynia in streptozotocin-injected rats. In addition, data seems to indicate that diabetic rats are more sensible to H2S-induced hyperalgesia than normoglycemic rats.


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