Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a powerful gasotransmitter, which has been shown to possess robust protective effects against ischemia-related injuries in the heart and other organs. Recent innovative studies by the PI and colleagues have identified regulation of endogenous levels of H2S to mediate the cardioprotective effect of phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor, tadalafil, as well as a potent nitric oxide (NO)-independent guanylate cyclase activator, Cinaciguat, in the mouse heart. More recent studies from the PI's laboratory demonstrated the infarct-sparing and anti-inflammatory benefits of exogenous H2S against ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury as well as the role of cystathionine-?-lyase-driven H2S generation in mediating the cardioprotective effects of gene therapy with protein kinase G. The purpose of this application is to further investigate the novel mechanisms by which H2S attenuates ischemic cardiomyopathy and inflammasome-mediated adverse remodeling in the failing heart. We will test the following hypotheses: 1) To investigate the protective effects of H2S on prevention of adverse remodeling post myocardial infarction (MI) and mitigation of ischemic heart failure. We will study the impact of H2S on LV scar size, function and remodeling. 2) To determine the chronic anti- inflammatory effect of H2S through suppression of NLRP3-inflammasome and the evolution of ischemic cardiomyopathy. 3) To study the role of H2S in attenuation of mitochondrial damage and propagation of inflammatory injury following MI by preserving MAVS and suppressing cofilin-2. These studies will be the first to demonstrate the protective effects of H2S for prevention of adverse remodeling following MI and also its potential therapeutic utility in the failing heart, possibly through attenuation of inflammasome-mediated maladaptive signaling. This is especially novel and the results will have a tremendous impact on further endorsing H2S as a potent therapeutic agent for ischemic heart failure. Moreover, these studies will provide novel mechanistic information by which new synthetic pharmacological agents with precisely controlled H2S release lead to improvement in overall cardiovascular health.

Public Health Relevance

Acute myocardial infarction (AMI, heart attack), which occurs due to a sudden obstruction of blood flow in one or more coronary arteries (ischemia) resulting in cellular death, remains a major cause of heart failure (HF) and death worldwide. Recently, the role of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in protection of the heart and other organs against ischemia has placed this novel gasotransmitter in the spotlight as a strong candidate for treatment of cardiovascular disease. In this application, we have proposed conceptually innovative studies that will delineate the role of attenuation of inflammasome formation and regulation of novel key proteins (cofilin-2 and mitochondrial antiviral signaling) involved in cellular injury and death in mediating the chronic protective effect of H2S therapy in a model of ischemic HF.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Research Project (R01)
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Cardiac Contractility, Hypertrophy, and Failure Study Section (CCHF)
Program Officer
Schwartz, Lisa
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Virginia Commonwealth University
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Devarakonda, Teja; Salloum, Fadi N (2018) Heart Disease and Relaxin: New Actions for an Old Hormone. Trends Endocrinol Metab 29:338-348
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