News Release

Hydrogen sulfide regulates neural circuit for respiration

Peer-Reviewed Publication

University of Tsukuba

Tsukuba, Japan—While commonly associated with the unpleasant odor of hot springs, hydrogen sulfide is naturally produced in the body. Despite its toxicity at higher concentrations, the lower concentrations generated internally are indispensable for life. Researchers from the University of Tsukuba have demonstrated the importance of hydrogen sulfide in the brain for normal respiration although the precise mechanism remained unclear.

The medullary respiratory center, responsible for the rhythm and depth of respiration, comprises various neurons dedicated for inspiration and expiration. In this study, researchers focused on the hydrogen sulfide production within the respiratory center. Results revealed that inhibiting hydrogen sulfide production alters neurotransmissions, leading to disruptions in the rhythm and depth of respiration. Moreover, the study identified variations in this mechanism across distinct regions within the respiratory center. These results imply that hydrogen sulfide, produced in the respiratory center, exerts a modulating influence on neural circuits, contributing to the stability of respiration.

Understanding the role of hydrogen sulfide in respiration offers valuable insights into disorders characterized by respiratory irregularities and potential avenues for treatment. Furthermore, these findings deepen our understanding of how hydrogen sulfide sustains life.

This research was supported by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Kakenhi grants (22H05557 and 23KJ0245), the Japan Science and Technology Agency SPRING (JPMJSP2124), and the Japan Foundation for Applied Enzymology Research Grant.

Original Paper

Title of original paper:
Hydrogen sulfide production in the medullary respiratory center modulates the neural circuit for respiratory pattern and rhythm generations

Scientific Reports




Associate Professor KOGANEZAWA, Tadachika
Institute of Medicine, University of Tsukuba

Doctoral Program in Neuroscience, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba

Related Link

Institute of Medicine

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.