Vasoactivity of the gasotransmitters hydrogen sulfide and carbon monoxide in the chicken ductus arteriosus

Saskia van der Sterren, Pamela Kleikers, Luc J. I. Zimmermann, Eduardo Villamor*

*Corresponding author for this work

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van der Sterren S, Kleikers P, Zimmermann LJI, Villamor E. Vasoactivity of the gasotransmitters hydrogen sulfide and carbon monoxide in the chicken ductus arteriosus. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 301: R1186-R1198, 2011. First published August 3, 2011; doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00729.2010.-Besides nitric oxide (NO) and carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S) is a third gaseous messenger that may play a role in controlling vascular tone and has been proposed to serve as an O(2) sensor. However, whether H(2)S is vasoactive in the ductus arteriosus (DA) has not yet been studied. We investigated, using wire myography, the mechanical responses induced by Na(2)S (1 mu M-1 mM), which forms H(2)S and HS(-) in solution, and by authentic CO (0.1 mu M-0.1 mM) in DA rings from 19-day chicken embryos. Na(2)S elicited a 100% relaxation (pD(2) 4.02) of 21% O(2)-contracted and a 50.3% relaxation of 62.5 mM KCl-contracted DA rings. Na(2)S-induced relaxation was not affected by presence of the NO synthase inhibitor L-NAME, the soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) inhibitor ODQ, or the K(+) channel inhibitors tetraethylammonium (TEA; nonselective), 4-aminopyridine (4-AP, K(V)), glibenclamide (K(ATP)), iberiotoxin (BK(Ca)), TRAM-34 (IK(Ca)), and apamin (SK(Ca)). CO also relaxed O(2)-contracted (60.8% relaxation) and KCl-contracted (18.6% relaxation) DA rings. CO-induced relaxation was impaired by ODQ, TEA, and 4-AP (but not by L-NAME, glibenclamide, iberiotoxin, TRAM-34 or apamin), suggesting the involvement of sGC and K(V) channel stimulation. The presence of inhibitors of H(2)S or CO synthesis as well as the H(2)S precursor L-cysteine or the CO precursor hemin did not significantly affect the response of the DA to changes in O(2) tension. Endothelium-dependent and -independent relaxations were also unaffected. In conclusion, our results indicate that the gasotransmitters H(2)S and CO are vasoactive in the chicken DA but they do not suggest an important role for endogenous H(2)S or CO in the control of chicken ductal reactivity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R1186-R1198
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology-regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


  • ductus arteriosus
  • oxygen sensing

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