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Dantas AP, Igarashi J, Michel T

Sphingosine 1-phosphate and control of vascular tone.

Am. J. Physiol. Heart Circ. Physiol.. 2003 Jun;284(6):H2045-52, PMID: 12742827

Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is a platelet-derived lipid mediator that activates the endothelial isoform of nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) in endothelial cells. However, the role of S1P in endothelium-dependent vasodilation and the signaling pathways elicited by S1P in intact vessels are largely unknown. We found that S1P induces dose-dependent transient relaxation of isolated pressurized mesenteric arterioles (EC(50) 10 +/- 3 nM); maximal vasodilation (55 +/- 8%) is seen approximately 2 min after S1P addition and returns to baseline by 5 min. S1P promotes comparable responses in arterioles from wild-type but not eNOS(null) mice. S1P-induced vasodilation is abrogated by removal of endothelium or by the addition of the NOS inhibitor N(omega)-monomethyl-l-arginine but is not affected by the cyclooxygenase inhibitor indomethacin, nor by the blockade of K(+) channels by using 4-aminopyridine. S1P-induced vasodilation is attenuated by pertussis toxin, by the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3-kinase) inhibitor wortmannin, and by the calcium chelator BAPTA. With the use of high-sensitivity protein immunoblots in extracts from single pressurized vessels, we found that S1P, but not bradykinin, promotes the phosphorylation of eNOS at Ser(1179). Maximum S1P-induced eNOS Ser(1179) phosphorylation was reached at the time of maximum vasorelaxation, but enzyme phosphorylation persisted for several minutes after vasodilation had resolved. Thus regulatory pathways distinct from eNOS Ser(1179) dephosphorylation serve to terminate agonist-promoted vasorelaxation. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that S1P, an important intercellular mediator of platelet-vessel wall interactions, is a effective arteriolar vasodilator that acts via G protein-dependent, calcium-sensitive, and PI3-kinase-modulated signaling pathways.


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