Hydrogen Sulfide and the Kidney: Physiological Roles, Contribution to Pathophysiology, and Therapeutic Potential

Maria Peleli, Paraskevas Zampas, Andreas Papapetropoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Significance: Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), the third member of the gasotransmitter family, has a broad spectrum of biological activities, including antioxidant and cytoprotective actions, as well as vasodilatory, anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic effects. New, significant aspects of H2S biology in the kidney continue to emerge, underscoring the importance of this signaling molecule in kidney homeostasis, function, and disease. Recent Advances: H2S signals via three main mechanisms, by maintaining redox balance through its antioxidant actions, by post-translational modifications of cellular proteins (S-sulfhydration), and by binding to protein metal centers. Important renal functions such as glomerular filtration, renin release, or sodium reabsorption have been shown to be regulated by H2S, using either exogenous donors or by the endogenous-producing systems. Critical Issues: Lower H2S levels are observed in many renal pathologies, including renal ischemia-reperfusion injury and obstructive, diabetic, or hypertensive nephropathy. Unraveling the molecular targets through which H2S exerts its beneficial effects would be of great importance not only for understanding basic renal physiology, but also for identifying new pharmacological interventions for renal disease. Future Directions: Additional studies are needed to better understand the role of H2S in the kidney. Mapping the expression pattern of H2S-producing and -degrading enzymes in renal cells and generation of cell-specific knockout mice based on this information will be invaluable in the effort to unravel additional roles for H2S in kidney (patho)physiology. With this knowledge, novel targeted more effective therapeutic strategies for renal disease can be designed. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 36, 220-243.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-243
Number of pages24
JournalAntioxidants and Redox Signaling
Issue number4-6
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022


  • ROS
  • S-sulfhydration
  • hydrogen sulfide signaling
  • renal disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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