Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a gas that can be formed by the action of two enzymes, cystathionine gamma lyase (CSE) and cystathionine beta synthase (CBS). H2S has been known for hundreds of years for its poisoning effect, however the idea that H2S is not only a poison, but can exert a physiological role in mammalian organisms, originates from the evidence that this gaseous mediator is produced endogenously. In addition to H2S synthesis by gastrointestinal tissue, the intestinal mucosa, particularly in the large intestine, is regularly exposed to high concentrations of H2S that are generated by some species of bacteria and through the reduction of unabsorbed intestinal inorganic sulphate. This review reports on the effects of H2S in the gastrointestinal tract and liver and provides information on the therapeutic applications of H2Sdonating drugs.
Keywords: Hydrogen sulfide, cystathionine-β-synthase (CBS), cystathionine-γ-lyase (CSE), stomach, colon, liver, gut motility, inflammation, pyridoxal-5'-phosphate-dependent enzymes, non-steroidal drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDs, L-cysteine
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