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17-06-2024 | Original Article

Hydrogen Sulfide Ameliorates Heart Aging by Downregulating Matrix Metalloproteinase-9

Authors: Kaichuan He, Huaxing Zhang, Bo Tan, Chengqing Song, Zihui Liang, Lixia Zhang, Danyang Tian, Lin Xiao, Hongmei Xue, Qi Guo, Xu Teng, Sheng Jin, Cuixia An, Yuming Wu

Published in: Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy

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Aging contributes significantly to cardiovascular diseases and cardiac dysfunction, leading to the upregulation of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) in the heart and a significant decrease in hydrogen sulfide (H2S) content, coupled with impaired cardiac diastolic function. This study explores whether supplementing exogenous hydrogen sulfide during aging ameliorates the decline in H2S concentration in the heart, suppresses MMP-9 expression, and improves the age-associated impairment in cardiac morphology and function.


We collected plasma from healthy individuals of different ages to determine the relationship between aging and H2S and MMP-9 levels through Elisa detection and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MC) detection of plasma H2S content. Three-month-old mice were selected as the young group, while 18-month-old mice were selected as the old group, and sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS) was injected intraperitoneally from 15 months old until 18 months old as the old + NaHS group. Plasma MMP-9 content was detected using Elisa, plasma H2S content, cardiac H2S content, and cystathionine gamma-lyase (CSE) activity were detected using LC/MC, and cardiac function was detected using echocardiography. Heart structure was assessed using hematoxylin and eosin staining, Masone staining was used to detect the degree of cardiac fibrosis, while western blot was used to detect the expression of MMP-9, CSE, and aging marker proteins. Knockdown of MMP-9 and CSE in H9c2 cells using small interfering RNA was carried out to determine the upstream–downstream relationship between MMP-9 and CSE.


H2S content in the plasma of healthy individuals decreases with escalating age, whereas MMP-9 level rises with age progression. Aging leads to a decrease in H2S levels in the heart and plasma of mice, severe impairment of cardiac diastolic function, interstitial relaxation, and fibrosis of the heart. Supplementing with exogenous H2S can improve these phenomena.


H2S maintains the structure and function of the heart by inhibiting the expression of MMP-9 during the aging process.
Hydrogen Sulfide Ameliorates Heart Aging by Downregulating Matrix Metalloproteinase-9
Kaichuan He
Huaxing Zhang
Bo Tan
Chengqing Song
Zihui Liang
Lixia Zhang
Danyang Tian
Lin Xiao
Hongmei Xue
Qi Guo
Xu Teng
Sheng Jin
Cuixia An
Yuming Wu
Publication date
Springer US
Published in
Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy
Print ISSN: 0920-3206
Electronic ISSN: 1573-7241
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