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Title: Metabolic and vascular effects of thiosulfate sulfurtransferase deletion
Author: Gibbins, Matthew Thomas George
ISNI:       0000 0004 7429 8145
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2018
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Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), is a gasotransmitter with several key roles in metabolism and vascular function. The effects of H2S are dependent on concentration and target organ. For example, increased H2S concentrations impair liver metabolic function but protect against vascular dysfunction and atherosclerosis. Thiosulfate sulfurtransferase (TST), a nuclear encoded mitochondrial matrix enzyme, is proposed to be a component of the sulfide oxidising unit (SOU) which metabolises H2S. Preliminary data has shown that Tst deletion in mice (Tst-/-) increases circulating H2S levels measured in whole blood. Therefore, it was hypothesised that Tst-/- mice would exhibit worsened metabolic function in the liver but also protection of vascular function under conditions of vascular stress e.g. atherosclerosis. Liver metabolism was assessed by extensive metabolic phenotyping of Tst-/-mice fed control diet and in conditions of metabolic dysfunction induced by a high fat diet (HFD). Tst deletion altered glucose metabolism in mice; gluconeogenesis was increased in liver from Tst-/-mice fed control diet. Glucose intolerance in HFD-fed Tst-/-mice was also more severe than HFDfed C57BL/6 controls. In vitro metabolic investigations in primary hepatocytes isolated from Tst-/-mice demonstrated that mitochondrial ATP-linked and leak respiration were increased compared to controls. The effect of Tst deletion on vascular function was investigated in Tst- /-mice fed control or HFD using myography. Tst deletion did not alter vessel function when mice were maintained on a normal diet. HFD feeding (20 weeks) reduced maximal vessel constriction in the presence of endothelial nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase inhibitors in C57BL/6 aorta. However, in Tst-/-mice fed HFD there was no reduction in maximal constriction suggesting a protective action of Tst deletion. The effects of Tst deletion on atherosclerotic lesions was investigated by generating double knock-out (DKO) mice by deletion of the Tst gene in ApoE-/- mice and (ApoE-/-Tst-/-). Atherosclerotic lesion formation was accelerated by feeding mice a western diet. Within the brachiocephalic branch lesion volume and total vessel volume were reduced in DKO mice fed western diet for 12 weeks, indicating that Tst deletion reduced lesion formation. Plasma cholesterol was reduced in DKO mice compared to ApoE-/- controls and a trend towards reduced systolic blood pressure was also noted. Overall this work supported the hypothesis that Tst deletion engenders metabolic dysfunction but vascular protection. The findings are consistent with the reported effects of increased H2S signalling. Overall inhibition of TST represents a novel target for treatment of atherosclerosis, with the caveat that glycaemia may be worsened due to hepatic metabolic dysfunction.
Supervisor: Hadoke, Patrick ; Morton, Nicholas Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: hydrogen sulfide ; Thiosulfate sulfurtransferase ; Tst knockout mice ; liver function ; double knock-out ; atherosclerosis