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J Lipid Res. 2006 Mar;47(3):653-64. Epub 2005 Dec 7.

Sphingosylphosphorylcholine induces proliferation of human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells via activation of JNK.

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  • 1Research Center for Ischemic Tissue Regeneration, Pusan National University, Busan 602-739, Republic of Korea.


Sphingosylphosphorylcholine (SPC) has been implicated in a variety of cellular responses, including proliferation and differentiation. In this study, we demonstrate that d-erythro-SPC, but not l-threo-SPC, stereoselectively stimulated the proliferation of human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hADSCs), with a maximal increase at 5 microM, and increased the intracellular concentration of Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)](i)) in hADSCs, which do not express known SPC receptors (i.e., OGR1, GPR4, G2A, and GPR12). The SPC-induced proliferation and increase in [Ca(2+)](i) were sensitive to pertussis toxin (PTX) and the phospholipase C (PLC) inhibitor U73122, suggesting that PTX-sensitive G proteins, Gi or Go, and PLC are involved in SPC-induced proliferation. In addition, SPC treatment induced the phosphorylation of c-Jun and extracellular signal-regulated kinase, and SPC-induced proliferation was completely prevented by pretreatment with the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)-specific inhibitor SP600125 but not with the MEK-specific inhibitor U0126. Furthermore, the SPC-induced proliferation and JNK activation were completely attenuated by overexpression of a dominant negative mutant of JNK2, and the SPC-induced activation of JNK was inhibited by pretreatment with PTX or U73122. Treatment of hADSCs with lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) receptor antagonist, Ki16425, had no impact on the SPC-induced increase in [Ca(2+)](i). However, SPC-induced proliferation was partially, but significantly, attenuated by pretreatment of the cells with Ki16425.These results indicate that SPC stimulates the proliferation of hADSCs through the Gi/Go-PLC-JNK pathway and that LPA receptors may be responsible in part for the SPC-induced proliferation.

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