The atmospheric pollutant sulfur dioxide (SO2) is endogenously generated from the normal metabolism of sulfur- containing amino acids through the aspartate aminotransferase pathway. SO2 is produced in cardiovascular tissues, and the aspartate aminotransferase mRNA is localized in endothelia and in vascular smooth muscle cells near the endothelial layer. Recent studies explored the physiological and pathophysiological effects of endogenous SO2 on the cardiovascular system, and various potential mechanisms were found. These discoveries suggest a novel role of endogenous SO2 in the modulation of the cardiovascular system and provide a basis for new treatments for cardiovascular diseases.
Keywords: Cardiovascular, gaseous signal, sulfur dioxide, pathophysiology, physiology, toxicology, Cardiovascular tissues, Aminotransferase mRNA, Vascular smooth muscle, Endothelial layer, Sulfur dioxide (SO2), Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), Pollutant gas, Antimicrobial agent, Antioxidant, Methionine, Cysteine, Cystine, Homocysteine, Cysteinesulfinate decarboxylase (CSD), Highperformance liquid chromatography, Cardiac dysrhythmia, Regulating apoptosis- related genes, Vasorelaxant effect, Systolic blood pressure, Pulmonary hypertension (PH), Vascular inflammation, Kinase/mitogen-activated, Myocardial malondialdehyde, Butterfly effect