Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Could hydrogen sulfide hold the key to a long life?

04.12.2007
Study finds 'rotten egg' chemical increases life span and heat tolerance in worms

Hydrogen sulfide, or H2S, the chemical that gives rotten eggs their sulfurous stench – and the same compound that researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center successfully have used to put mice into a state of reversible metabolic hibernation – has now been shown to significantly increase life span and heat tolerance in the nematode worm, or C. elegans.

These findings by Mark Roth, Ph.D., a member of the Center’s Basic Sciences Division, and Dana Miller, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research fellow in Roth’s lab, appear in the PNAS Online Early Edition, a publication of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

In an effort to understand the mechanisms by which hydrogen sulfide induces hibernation in mice, the researchers turned to the tiny nematode, a workhorse of laboratory science because its biology is similar in many respects that of humans. For example, like humans, nematodes have a central nervous system and the ability to reproduce. The worms also are ideally suited for studying life span, because they normally live for only two to three weeks.

... more about:
»H2S »Hydrogen »Influence »activity »nematode »sulfide »untreated

The researchers found, to their surprise, that nematodes that were raised in a carefully controlled atmosphere with low concentrations of H2S (50 parts per million in room air) did not hibernate. Instead, their metabolism and reproductive activity remained normal, their life span increased and they became more tolerant to heat than untreated worms.

The H2S-exposed worms lived eight times longer than untreated worms when moved from normal room air (22 C or 70 F) to a high-temperature environment (35 degrees Celsius, or 95 F). Roth and colleagues replicated these results in 15 independent experiments.

“Although the maximum extension of survival time varied between experiments, the effect was quite robust. On average, 77 percent of the worms exposed to H2S outlived the untreated worms,” Roth said. The mean life span of worms grown in an atmosphere laced with hydrogen sulfide was 9.6 days greater than that of the untreated population, a longevity increase of 70 percent.

Most genes that influence life span in C. elegans act on one of three genetic pathways: those that control insulin/IGF (insulin growth factor) signaling, those that control mitochondrial function and those that modulate the effects of dietary restriction.

Roth and colleagues ruled out hydrogen sulfide’s influence on each of these pathways. Instead, they suspect it acts through a different mechanism. One theory is that exposure to H2S naturally regulates the activity of a gene called SIR-2.1, which has been shown to influence life span in many organisms, including the nematode. Previous studies have found that over-expression of this gene increases the longevity of C. elegans by 18 percent to 20 percent.

“Further research into the genetic mechanisms that influence H2S-induced changes in nematodes may reveal similar mechanisms in higher organisms, including humans, with potentially wide-ranging implications in both basic research and clinical practice,” Roth said. For example, understanding how H2S affects physiology in animals may lead to the development of drugs that could delay the onset of age-related diseases in humans such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and heart disease.

Roth’s hibernation research made headlines worldwide in April 2005 when he was the first to show that exposing mice to minute amounts of hydrogen sulfide could induce a state of reversible “hibernation on demand,” dramatically reducing their core body temperature, respiration and need for oxygen. Roth envisions a future in which similar techniques could be used to “buy time” for critically ill patients who otherwise would face injury and death from insufficient blood and oxygen supply to organs and tissues.

Roth hypothesizes that H2S, a chemical normally produced in humans and animals, may help regulate body temperature and metabolic activity. Hydrogen sulfide is similar to oxygen at the molecular level because it binds at many of the same proteins. As a result, H2S competes for and interferes with the body’s ability to use oxygen for energy production – a process within the cell’s power-generating machinery called oxidative phosphorylation.

The inhibition of this function, in turn, is what Roth and colleagues believe causes organisms such as mice to shut down metabolically and enter a hibernation-like state pending re-exposure to normal room air, after which they quickly regain normal function and metabolic activity with no long-term negative effects.

Kristen Lidke Woodward | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.fhcrc.org

Further reports about: H2S Hydrogen Influence activity nematode sulfide untreated

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Not of Divided Mind
19.01.2017 | Hertie-Institut für klinische Hirnforschung (HIH)

nachricht CRISPR meets single-cell sequencing in new screening method
19.01.2017 | CeMM Forschungszentrum für Molekulare Medizin der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>