It is well established that hydrogen sulfide (H 2S) has a signaling role in the body. So far it has been shown that H 2S is produced by intra-uterine tissues in the pregnant rat and the human placenta. Two main enzymes responsible for H 2S production, cystathionine- synthase and cystathionine-lyase, have been demonstrated in the pregnant and nonpregnant uterus, fetal membranes and placenta in the rat, and in human placenta. H 2S donors have been shown to inhibit contraction of the pregnant rat uterus. H 2S could play a role in maintaining uterine quiescence during pregnancy, as an oxygen sensor and vasodilator in the placenta, or as an anti-inflammatory. More research is required in this area to elucidate the roles of H 2S in the female reproductive tract and its mechanisms of action.
- fetal membranes
- hydrogen sulfide