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Perspective

Biological Connection of Psychological Stress and Polytrauma under Intensive Care: The Role of Oxytocin and Hydrogen Sulfide

1
Institute for Anesthesiological Pathophysiology and Process Engineering, Medical Center, Ulm University, Helmholtzstraße 8/1, 89081 Ulm, Germany
2
Clinic for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Medical Center, Ulm University, 89081 Ulm, Germany
3
Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Nuremberg General Hospital, Paracelsus Medical University, 90471 Nuremberg, Germany
4
Clinic for Neurosurgery, Medical Center, Ulm University, 89081 Ulm, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Govindan Dayanithi
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(17), 9192; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22179192
Received: 21 July 2021 / Revised: 6 August 2021 / Accepted: 20 August 2021 / Published: 25 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Oxytocin)
This paper explored the potential mediating role of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and the oxytocin (OT) systems in hemorrhagic shock (HS) and/or traumatic brain injury (TBI). Morbidity and mortality after trauma mainly depend on the presence of HS and/or TBI. Rapid “repayment of the O2 debt” and prevention of brain tissue hypoxia are cornerstones of the management of both HS and TBI. Restoring tissue perfusion, however, generates an ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury due to the formation of reactive oxygen (ROS) and nitrogen (RNS) species. Moreover, pre-existing-medical-conditions (PEMC’s) can aggravate the occurrence and severity of complications after trauma. In addition to the “classic” chronic diseases (of cardiovascular or metabolic origin), there is growing awareness of psychological PEMC’s, e.g., early life stress (ELS) increases the predisposition to develop post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD) and trauma patients with TBI show a significantly higher incidence of PTSD than patients without TBI. In fact, ELS is known to contribute to the developmental origins of cardiovascular disease. The neurotransmitter H2S is not only essential for the neuroendocrine stress response, but is also a promising therapeutic target in the prevention of chronic diseases induced by ELS. The neuroendocrine hormone OT has fundamental importance for brain development and social behavior, and, thus, is implicated in resilience or vulnerability to traumatic events. OT and H2S have been shown to interact in physical and psychological trauma and could, thus, be therapeutic targets to mitigate the acute post-traumatic effects of chronic PEMC’s. OT and H2S both share anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and vasoactive properties; through the reperfusion injury salvage kinase (RISK) pathway, where their signaling mechanisms converge, they act via the regulation of nitric oxide (NO). View Full-Text
Keywords: early life stress; adverse childhood experiences; posttraumatic stress disorder; traumatic brain injury; acute subdural hematoma; hemorrhagic shock; cystathionine-γ-lyase; hydrogen sulfide; oxytocin; pig early life stress; adverse childhood experiences; posttraumatic stress disorder; traumatic brain injury; acute subdural hematoma; hemorrhagic shock; cystathionine-γ-lyase; hydrogen sulfide; oxytocin; pig
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MDPI and ACS Style

Merz, T.; McCook, O.; Denoix, N.; Radermacher, P.; Waller, C.; Kapapa, T. Biological Connection of Psychological Stress and Polytrauma under Intensive Care: The Role of Oxytocin and Hydrogen Sulfide. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 9192. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22179192

AMA Style

Merz T, McCook O, Denoix N, Radermacher P, Waller C, Kapapa T. Biological Connection of Psychological Stress and Polytrauma under Intensive Care: The Role of Oxytocin and Hydrogen Sulfide. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021; 22(17):9192. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22179192

Chicago/Turabian Style

Merz, Tamara, Oscar McCook, Nicole Denoix, Peter Radermacher, Christiane Waller, and Thomas Kapapa. 2021. "Biological Connection of Psychological Stress and Polytrauma under Intensive Care: The Role of Oxytocin and Hydrogen Sulfide" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 22, no. 17: 9192. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22179192

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