Frontiers in Clinical Drug Research-Diabetes and Obesity

Frontiers in Clinical Drug Research-Diabetes and Obesity

Volume: 4

Frontiers in Clinical Drug Research – Diabetes and Obesity is an eBook series that brings updated reviews to readers interested in advances in the development of pharmaceutical agents for the ...
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Hydrogen Sulfide and Carbohydrate Metabolism

Pp. 226-258 (33)

Zahra Bahadoran, Parvin Mirmiran and Asghar Ghasemi


Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is an important gasotransmitter with diverse biological actions in the body and has been receiving much attention over the last two decades. It has been characterized as a key regulator of cardiovascular homoeostasis, cell growth and differentiation, mitochondrial biogenesis, adipose tissue metabolism, inflammation and liver function. H2S-donor molecules have hence been considered as being potential therapeutic options for a variety of human diseases including hypertension, atherosclerosis, obesity, oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. It has been shown that huge amount of endogenous H2S originates in the liver, and may be involved in the development of insulin resistance and diabetes. H2S is considered as an important mediator of carbohydrate homeostasis. H2S production and bioavailability are impaired during development of obesity, diabetes and its complications, highlights the potential therapeutic effects of H2S in metabolic syndrome. This issue is however controversial due to some findings that show increased H2S disturbs pancreatic β-cell function and may be responsible for reduced insulin secretion. H2S also contributes to increased blood glucose levels by accelerating glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis, effects which could intensify hyperglycemia in diabetes. Furthermore, reduced basal and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake was observed following treatment of adipocytes with H2S; in contrast, the protective effect of H2S on β-cell function against a high-fat diet, as well as its insulin-sensitizing properties has been reported in both in vitro and in vivo models of insulin resistance. Regarding the increasing interest in therapeutic applications of H2S-donors in cardiometabolic disorders, its potential unexpected effects on glucose/insulin metabolism, especially in the case of diabetes, should be considered. In this review, we focus on the current knowledge available on exogenous and endogenous H2S and carbohydrate metabolism, including both regulation of hepatic glucose production and hepatic and peripheral glucose uptake and β-cell function.


Carbohydrate metabolism, Cystathionine γ lyase, Cystathionine β synthase, Diabetes, Glucose, Hydrogen sulfide, Insulin, Nitric oxide, Sodium sulfide, 3- mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase.


Endocrine Physiology Research Center, Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.