Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is one of three endogenous gases, along with carbon monoxide (CO) and nitric oxide (NO), that exert a variety of important vascular actions in vivo. Although it has been demonstrated that CO or NO can trigger the development of a preconditioned phenotype in postischemic tissues, it is unclear whether H2S may also induce protection in organs subsequently exposed to ischemia-reperfusion (I/R). In light of these observations, we postulated that preconditioning with the exogenous H2S donor sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS-PC) would inhibit leukocyte rolling (LR) and adhesion (LA) induced by I/R. We used intravital microscopic techniques to demonstrate that NaHS-PC 24 h, but not 1 h, before I/R causes postcapillary venules to shift to an anti-inflammatory phenotype in wild-type (WT) mice such that these vessels fail to support LR and LA during reperfusion. The protective effect of NaHS-PC on LR was largely abolished by coincident pharmacological inhibition of NO synthase (NOS) in WT animals and was absent in endothelial NOS-deficient (eNOS−/−) mice. A similar pattern of response was noted in WT mice treated concomitantly with NaHS plus p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibitors (SB 203580 or SK-86002). Whereas the reduction in LA induced by antecedent NaHS was attenuated by pharmacological inhibition of NOS or p38 MAPK in WT mice, the antiadhesive effect of NaHS was still evident in eNOS−/− mice. Thus NaHS-PC prevents LR and LA by triggering the activation of an eNOS- and p38 MAPK-dependent mechanism. However, the role of eNOS in the antiadhesive effect of NaHS-PC was less prominent than its effect to reduce LR
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