Navigation Links
Could Hydrogen Sulfide Hold the Key to A Long Life?
Date:12/3/2007

Study finds 'rotten egg' chemical increases life span and heat tolerance in

worms

SEATTLE, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Hydrogen sulfide, or H2S, the chemical that gives rotten eggs their sulfurous stench -- and the same compound that researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center successfully have used to put mice into a state of reversible metabolic hibernation -- has now been shown to significantly increase life span and heat tolerance in the nematode worm, or C. elegans.

These findings by Mark Roth, Ph.D., a member of the Center's Basic Sciences Division, and Dana Miller, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research fellow in Roth's lab, appear in the PNAS Online Early Edition, a publication of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

In an effort to understand the mechanisms by which hydrogen sulfide induces hibernation in mice, the researchers turned to the tiny nematode, a workhorse of laboratory science because its biology is similar in many respects to that of humans. For example, like humans, nematodes have a central nervous system and the ability to reproduce. The worms also are ideally suited for studying life span, because they normally live for only two to three weeks.

The researchers found, to their surprise, that nematodes that were raised in a carefully controlled atmosphere with low concentrations of H2S (50 parts per million in room air) did not hibernate. Instead, their metabolism and reproductive activity remained normal, their life span increased and they became more tolerant to heat than untreated worms.

The H2S-exposed worms lived eight times longer than untreated worms when moved from normal room air (22 C or 70 F) to a high-temperature environment (35 C or 95 F). Roth and colleagues replicated these results in 15 independent experiments.

"Although the maximum extension of survival time varied between experiments, the effect was quite robust. On average, 77 percent of the worms exposed to H2S outlived the untreated worms," Roth said. The mean life span of worms grown in an atmosphere laced with hydrogen sulfide was 9.6 days greater than that of the untreated population, a longevity increase of 70 percent.

Most genes that influence life span in C. elegans act on one of three genetic pathways: those that control insulin/IGF (insulin growth factor) signaling, those that control mitochondrial function and those that modulate the effects of dietary restriction.

Roth and colleagues ruled out hydrogen sulfide's influence on each of these pathways. Instead, they suspect it acts through a different mechanism. One theory is that exposure to H2S naturally regulates the activity of a gene called SIR-2.1, which has been shown to influence life span in many organisms, including the nematode. Previous studies have found that over-expression of this gene increases the longevity of C. elegans by 18 percent to 20 percent.

"Further research into the genetic mechanisms that influence H2S-induced changes in nematodes may reveal similar mechanisms in higher organisms, including humans, with potentially wide-ranging implications in both basic research and clinical practice," Roth said. For example, understanding how H2S affects physiology in animals may lead to the development of drugs that could delay the onset of age-related diseases in humans such as cancer, Alzheimer's and heart disease.

Roth's hibernation research made headlines worldwide in April 2005 when he was the first to show that exposing mice to minute amounts of hydrogen sulfide could induce a state of reversible "hibernation on demand," dramatically reducing their core body temperature, respiration and need for oxygen. Roth envisions a future in which similar techniques could be used to "buy time" for critically ill patients who otherwise would face injury and death from insufficient blood and oxygen supply to organs and tissues.

Roth hypothesizes that H2S, a chemical normally produced in humans and animals, may help regulate body temperature and metabolic activity. Hydrogen sulfide is similar to oxygen at the molecular level because it binds at many of the same proteins. As a result, H2S competes for and interferes with the body's ability to use oxygen for energy production -- a process within the cell's power-generating machinery called oxidative phosphorylation.

The inhibition of this function, in turn, is what Roth and colleagues believe causes organisms such as mice to shut down metabolically and enter a hibernation-like state pending re-exposure to normal room air, after which they quickly regain normal function and metabolic activity with no long-term negative effects.

The National Institutes of Health, the NIH Center for Research Resources, the Caenorhabditis Genetics Center and a National Research Service Award Fellowship supported this work.

At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, our interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists and humanitarians work together to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Our researchers, including three Nobel laureates, bring a relentless pursuit and passion for health, knowledge and hope to their work and to the world. For more information, please visit http://www.fhcrc.org.

CONTACT

Kristen Woodward

(206) 667-5095

kwoodwar@fhcrc.org


'/>"/>
SOURCE Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Study provides hope that some transplant patients could live free of antirejection drugs
2. Study provides hope that some transplant patients could live free of anti-rejection drugs
3. HIV denialists spread misinformation online -- consequences could be deadly; and more
4. Virus Could Help Drive Obesity
5. Discovery of sugar sensor in intestine could benefit diabetes
6. Cranberry Could Juice Up Ovarian Cancer Treatment
7. Treating Diabetes During Pregnancy Could Lead to Thinner Kids
8. High-risk behaviors could lead to HIV epidemic in Afghanistan
9. Chinas 1-child policy could backfire on its elderly
10. 1.5 million children could be saved
11. More than 10,000 Medicare Patients in Montana Could Be Hit by Proposed Cuts to Home Oxygen Therapy; Access to Power Wheelchairs Would Also Decrease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of Yahweh, has released ... understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The Book of Revelation paints a picture ... Many have tossed it off as mere rubbish, but Yisrayl Hawkins says that is ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... On The Brink”: the Christian history of the United States and the loss of ... William Nowers. Captain Nowers and his wife, Millie, have six children, ten grandchildren, ... Navy. Following his career as a naval aviator and carrier pilot, he spent ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The company has developed a suite of ... authorities worldwide. From Children’s to Adults 50+, every formula has been developed by ... , These products are also: Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Vegan, Soy Free, Non-Dairy*, Preservative ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... delivery system that we intend to develop to enable prevention of a major ... to severe hearing loss, especially in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing loss is ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... On Saturday, October ... treadmill relay – Miles by Moonlight to raise money for the American Heart Association ... more. , Teams will work together to keep their treadmills moving for 5 ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/25/2017)... 25, 2017   Montrium , an industry ... today—from the IQPC Trial Master Files & Inspection ... that EastHORN Clinical Services has selected eTMF ... TMF management. EastHORN, a leading European contract research ... increase transparency to enable greater collaboration with sponsors, ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... HistoSonics, Inc., a venture-backed medical device company developing a non-invasive, robotically assisted, platform ... leadership team developments today:   ... ... Tom Tefft ... Veteran medical device executive Josh Stopek , PhD, who has led ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... NEW YORK , Sept. 12, 2017   EcoVadis ... global supply chains, has published the first annual edition of its Global ... more than 20,400 companies evaluated by EcoVadis, based on Scorecard Ratings that ... ... Risk & Performance Index ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: