Hydrogen sulfide is essential for Schwann cell responses to peripheral nerve injury

Byung Sun Park, Hyun Wook Kim, Im Joo Rhyu, Chan Park, Seung Geun Yeo, Youngbuhm Huh, Na Young Jeong, Junyang Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) functions as a physiological gas transmitter in both normal and pathophysiological cellular events. H2S is produced from substances by three enzymes: cystathionine β-synthase (CBS), cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE), and 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase (MST). In human tissues, these enzymes are involved in tissue-specific biochemical pathways for H2S production. For example, CBS and cysteine aminotransferase/MST are present in the brain, but CSE is not. Thus, we examined the expression of H2S production-related enzymes in peripheral nerves. Here, we found that CSE and MST/cysteine aminotransferase, but not CBS, were present in normal peripheral nerves. In addition, injured sciatic nerves in vivo up-regulated CSE in Schwann cells during Wallerian degeneration (WD); however, CSE was not up-regulated in peripheral axons. Using an ex vivo sciatic nerve explant culture, we found that the inhibition of H2S production broadly prevented the process of nerve degeneration, including myelin fragmentation, axonal degradation, Schwann cell dedifferentiation, and Schwann cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo. Thus, these results indicate that H2S signaling is essential for Schwann cell responses to peripheral nerve injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-242
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan


  • Schwann cells
  • Wallerian degeneration
  • axonal degradation
  • cytstathionine-γ-lyase (CSE)
  • demyelination
  • hydrogen sulfide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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