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Huntington's disease is characterized by a complex and heterogeneous pathogenic profile. Studies have shown that disturbance in lipid homeostasis may represent a critical determinant in the progression of several neurodegenerative disorders. The recognition of perturbed lipid metabolism is only recently becoming evident in HD. In order to provide more insight into the nature of such a perturbation and into the effect its modulation may have in HD pathology, we investigated the metabolism of Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), one of the most important bioactive lipids, in both animal models and patient samples. Here, we demonstrated that S1P metabolism is significantly disrupted in HD even at early stage of the disease and importantly, we revealed that such a dysfunction represents a common denominator among multiple disease models ranging from cells to humans through mouse models. Interestingly, the in vitro anti-apoptotic and the pro-survival actions seen after modulation of S1P-metabolizing enzymes allows this axis to emerge as a new druggable target and unfolds its promising therapeutic potential for the development of more effective and targeted interventions against this incurable condition.
Renal ischemia-reperfusion injury is a major cause of acute kidney injury. We previously found that renal A(1) adenosine receptor (A(1)AR) activation attenuated multiple cell death pathways including necrosis, apoptosis, and inflammation. Here, we tested whether induction of cytoprotective sphingosine kinase (SK)-1 and sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) synthesis might be the mechanism of protection. A selective A(1)AR agonist (CCPA) increased the synthesis of S1P and selectively induced SK1 in mouse kidney and HK-2 cells. This agonist failed to protect SK1-knockout but protected SK2-knockout mice against renal ischemia-reperfusion injury indicating a critical role of SK1 in A(1)AR-mediated renal protection. Inhibition of SK prevented A(1)AR-mediated defense against necrosis and apoptosis in HK-2 cells. A selective S1P(1)R antagonist (W146) and global in vivo gene knockdown of S1P(1)Rs with small interfering RNA completely abolished the renal protection provided by CCPA. Mice selectively deficient in renal proximal tubule S1P(1)Rs (S1P(1)R(f)(/)(f) PEPCK(Cre/-)) were not protected against renal ischemia-reperfusion injury by CCPA. Mechanistically, CCPA increased nuclear translocation of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α in HK-2 cells and selective hypoxia-inducible factor-1α inhibition blocked A(1)AR-mediated induction of SK1. Thus, proximal tubule SK1 has a critical role in A(1)AR-mediated protection against renal ischemia-reperfusion injury.
Agonists of the sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor (S1PR) attenuate kidney ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI). Previous studies suggested that S1P1R-induced lymphopenia mediates this protective effect, but lymphocyte-independent mechanisms could also contribute. Here, we investigated the effects of S1PR agonists on kidney IRI in mice that lack T and B lymphocytes (Rag-1 knockout mice). Administration of the nonselective S1PR agonist FTY720 or the selective S1P1R agonist SEW2871 reduced injury in both Rag-1 knockout and wild-type mice. In vitro, SEW2871 significantly attenuated LPS- or hypoxia/reoxygenation-induced apoptosis in cultured mouse proximal tubule epithelial cells, supporting a direct protective effect of S1P1R agonists via mitogen-activated protein kinase and/or Akt pathways. S1P1Rs in the proximal tubule mediated IRI in vivo as well: Mice deficient in proximal tubule S1P1Rs experienced a greater decline in renal function after IRI than control mice and their kidneys were no longer protected by SEW2871 administration. In summary, S1PRs in the proximal tubule are necessary for stress-induced cell survival, and S1P1R agonists are renoprotective via direct effects on the tubule cells. Selective agonists of S1P1Rs may hold therapeutic potential for the prevention and treatment of acute kidney injury.
Regulatory T cells (T(reg) cells) are critically involved in maintaining immunological tolerance, but this potent suppression must be 'quenched' to allow the generation of adaptive immune responses. Here we report that sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor type 1 (S1P1) delivers an intrinsic negative signal to restrain the thymic generation, peripheral maintenance and suppressive activity of T(reg) cells. Combining loss- and gain-of-function genetic approaches, we found that S1P1 blocked the differentiation of thymic T(reg) precursors and function of mature T(reg) cells and affected T(reg) cell-mediated immune tolerance. S1P1 induced selective activation of the Akt-mTOR kinase pathway to impede the development and function of T(reg) cells. Dynamic regulation of S1P1 contributed to lymphocyte priming and immune homeostasis. Thus, by antagonizing T(reg) cell-mediated immune suppression, the lipid-activated S1P1-Akt-mTOR pathway orchestrates adaptive immune responses.
PURPOSE - Cyclooxygenase-2 has been reported to be ubiquitously expressed in Wilms tumor, the most common malignant renal tumor in children. However, to our knowledge the regulation mechanism of cyclooxygenase-2 expression remains unexplored.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot were performed to detect cyclooxygenase-2 mRNA and protein expression in WiT49 cells upon stimulation by S1P (Biomol(R)), and S1P(2) and cyclooxygenase-2 mRNA expression in 10 freshly frozen Wilms tumor tissues and matched normal tissues. Over expression, blockade and down-regulation of S1P(2) were determined using adenoviral transduction, the S1P(2) antagonist JTE-013 (Tocris Bioscience, Ellisville, Missouri) and small interfering RNA (Dharmacon, Lafayette, Colorado) transfection, respectively. The prostaglandin E(2) level in WiT49 cells was determined by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry.
RESULTS - S1P induced cyclooxygenase-2 mRNA and protein expression in WiT49 cells in a concentration dependent manner. Over expression of S1P(2) in WiT49 cells led to a significant increase in cyclooxygenase-2 mRNA and protein expression as well as subsequent prostaglandin E(2) synthesis. In addition, pretreatment of those cells that over expressed S1P(2) with the S1P(2) selective antagonist JTE-013 completely blocked S1P induced cyclooxygenase-2 protein expression. In accordance with these results silencing S1P(2) in WiT49 cells down-regulated S1P induced cyclooxygenase-2 expression. Further research in 10 Wilms tumor specimens showed that S1P(2) mRNA is greatly increased in Wilms tumor.
CONCLUSIONS - S1P induced cyclooxygenase-2 expression in Wilms tumor and this effect was mediated by S1P(2). This finding extends the biological function of S1P(2) and provides the biochemical basis for developing inhibitors targeting the S1P/cyclooxygenase-2 signaling pathway.