Methylene blue counteracts H2S toxicity-induced cardiac depression by restoring l-type ca channel activity

Annick Judenherc-Haouzi, Xue Qian Zhang, Takashi Sonobe, Jianliang Song, Matthew D. Rannals, Jufang Wang, Nicole Tubbs, Joseph Y. Cheung, Philippe Haouzi

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30 Scopus citations


We have previously reported that methylene blue (MB) can counteract hydrogen sulfide (H2S) intoxication-induced circulatory failure. Because of the multifarious effects of high concentrations of H2S on cardiac function, as well as the numerous properties of MB, the nature of this interaction, if any, remains uncertain. The aim of this study was to clarify 1) the effects of MB on H2S-induced cardiac toxicity and 2) whether L-type Ca2+ channels, one of the targets of H2S, could transduce some of the counteracting effects of MB. In sedated rats, H2S infused at a rate that would be lethal within 5 min (24 μM·kg−1·min−1), produced a rapid fall in left ventricle ejection fraction, determined by echocardiography, leading to a pulseless electrical activity. Blood concentrations of gaseous H2S reached 7.09 ± 3.53 μM when cardiac contractility started to decrease. Two to three injections of MB (4 mg/kg) transiently restored cardiac contractility, blood pressure, and V̇o2, allowing the animals to stay alive until the end of H2S infusion. MB also delayed PEA by several minutes following H2S-induced coma and shock in unsedated rats. Applying a solution containing lethal levels of H2S (100 μM) on isolated mouse cardiomyocytes significantly reduced cell contractility, intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) transient amplitudes, and L-type Ca2+ currents (ICa) within 3 min of exposure. MB (20 mg/l) restored the cardiomyocyte function, ([Ca2+]i) transient, and ICa. The present results offer a new approach for counteracting H2S toxicity and potentially other conditions associated with acute inhibition of L-type Ca2+ channels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1030-R1044
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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