Enhanced detection of hydrogen sulfide generated in cell culture using an agar trap method.

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Analytical biochemistry, ISSN: 1096-0309, Vol: 423, Issue: 1, Page: 102-8

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Kartha, Reena V; Zhou, Jie; Hovde, Laurie B; Cheung, Belinda W Y; Schröder, Henning
Elsevier BV
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
article description
Lack of reliable methods to accurately measure hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S) produced in vitro has impeded research on the physiology of this gaseous mediator. Current in vitro methods involve measurement of H(2)S in cell culture media following incubation with H(2)S-releasing compounds. However, this method is inaccurate because H(2)S gas has a short life and thus evades detection. To overcome this, we have adapted a method that employs a modified agar layer to instantly trap H(2)S, allowing measurement of H(2)S accumulated with time. The amount of H(2)S trapped in the agar is quantified using an in situ methylene blue assay. We were able to detect H(2)S produced from sodium hydrogen sulfide (NaHS) added at concentrations as low as 10 μM. Following a 24-h incubation of endothelial-like or vascular smooth muscle cells with 50 μM NaHS, we were able to recover twice more H(2)S than conventional methods. When H(2)S-releasing compounds L-cysteine and N-acetylcysteine were added to the cell culture, the amount of H(2)S increased in a concentration-, time-, and cell line-dependent manner. In conclusion, we have developed an improved method to quantify H(2)S generated in vitro. This method could be used to screen compounds to identify potential H(2)S donors and inhibitors for therapeutic use.