Hydrogen sulphide (H2S), a chemical hazard in oil and gas production, has recently become a dreadful method of suicide, posing specific risks and challenges for the first responders. Currently, there is no proven effective treatment against H2S poisoning and its severe neurological, respiratory or cardiac after-effects. We have recently described that H2S is present in various compartments, or pools, in the body during sulphide exposure, which have different levels of toxicity. The general goals of our study were to (1) determine the concentrations and kinetics of the various pools of hydrogen sulphide in the blood, i.e., gaseous (CgH2S) versus total sulphide, i.e., reacting with monobromobimane (CMBBH2S), during and following H2S exposure in a small and large mammal and (2) establish the interaction between the pools of H2S and a methemoglobin (MetHb) solution or a high dose of hydroxocobalamin (HyCo). We found that CgH2S during and following H2S infusion was similar in sedated sheep and rats at any given rate of infusion/kg and provoked symptoms, i.e., hyperpnea and apnea, at the same CgH2S. After H2S administration was stopped, CgH2S disappeared within 1 min. CMBBH2S also dropped to 2-3μM, but remained above baseline levels for at least 30 min. Infusion of a MetHb solution during H2S infusion produced an immediate reduction in the free/soluble pool of H2S only, whereas CMBBH2S increased by severalfold. HyCo (70 mg/kg) also decreased the concentrations of free/soluble H2S to almost zero; CgH2S returned to pre-HyCo levels within a maximumof 20 min, if H2S infusion is maintained. These results are discussed in the context of a relevant scenario, wherein antidotes can only be administered after H2S exposure.
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