BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The role of hydrogen sulphide (H 2S) as a putative endogenous signalling molecule in the gastrointestinal tract has not yet been established. We investigated the effect of D,L-propargylglycine (PAG), an inhibitor of cystathionine κ-lyase (CSE), amino-oxyacetic acid (AOAA) and hydroxylamine (HA), inhibitors of cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) on rat colonic motility. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH Immunohistochemistry, H 2S production, microelectrode and organ bath recordings were performed on rat colonic samples without mucosa and submucosa to investigate the role of endogenous H 2S in motility. KEY RESULTS CSE and CBS were immunolocalized in the colon. H 2S was endogenously produced (15.6 ± 0.7 nmol·min -1·g -1 tissue) and its production was strongly inhibited by PAG (2 mM) and AOAA (2 mM). PAG (2 mM) caused smooth muscle depolarization and increased spontaneous motility. The effect was still recorded after incubation with tetrodotoxin (TTX, 1 μM) or N ω-nitro-L-arginine (L-NNA, 1 mM). AOAA (2 mM) caused a transient (10 min) increase in motility. In contrast, HA (10 μM) caused a 'nitric oxide-like effect', smooth muscle hyperpolarization and relaxation, which were antagonized by 1H-[1,2,4]oxadiazolo[4,3-α]quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ, 10 μM). Neither spontaneous nor induced inhibitory junction potentials were modified by AOAA or PAG. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS We demonstrated that H 2S is endogenously produced in the rat colon. PAG and AOAA effectively blocked H 2S production. Our data suggest that enzymatic production of H 2S regulates colonic motility and therefore H 2S might be a third gaseous inhibitory signalling molecule in the gastrointestinal tract. However, possible non-specific effects of the inhibitors should be considered. © 2011 The British Pharmacological Society.
- hydrogen sulphide
- inhibitory neuromuscular transmission
- nitric oxide
- smooth muscle