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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Sphingosine-1-phosphate inhibits cell migration and endothelial to mesenchymal cell transformation during cardiac development.

Sphingosine-1-phosphate ( S1P) is a biologically active sphingolipid metabolite that exerts important effects on numerous cellular events via cell surface receptors, S1P(1-5). S1P influences differentiation, proliferation, and migration during vascular development. However, the effects of S1P signaling on early cardiac development are not well understood. To address this issue, we examined the expression of S1P regulatory enzymes and S1P receptors during cardiac development. We observed that enzymes that regulate S1P levels, sphingosine kinase and sphingosine-1-phosphate phosphatase, are expressed in the developing heart. In addition, RT-PCR revealed that four of the five known S1P receptors (S1P(1-4)) are also expressed in the developing heart. Next, effects of altered S1P levels on whole embryo and atrioventricular (AV) canal cultures were investigated. We demonstrate that inactivation of the S1P producing enzyme, sphingosine kinase, leads to cell death in cardiac tissue which is rescued by exogenous S1P treatment. Other experiments reveal that increased S1P concentration prevents alterations in cell morphology that are required for cell migration. This effect results in reduced cell migration and inhibited mesenchymal cell formation in AV canal cushion tissue. These data indicate that S1P, locally maintained within a specific concentration range, is an important and necessary component of early heart development.[1]


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