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Cardiovasc Res. 2009 May 1;82(2):212-20. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvp064. Epub 2009 Feb 20.

Sphingosine-1-phosphate and modulation of vascular tone.

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  • 1Department of Cardiovascular Physiology, Kagawa University, 1750-1 Ikenobe, Miki-cho, Kita-gun, Kagawa 761-0793, Japan.


Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is a phosphorylated product of sphingosine, the core structure of the class of lipids termed sphingolipids. S1P is a naturally occurring lipid metabolite, and usually is present at a concentration of a few 100 nanomolar in human sera. S1P has been found to exert a diverse set of physiological and pathophysiological responses in mammalian tissues through the activation of heterotrimeric G-proteins that in turn modulate the activity of various downstream effecter molecules. In blood vessels, vascular endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells express specific receptors for S1P that modulate vascular tone. This article will provide a brief overview of S1P metabolism in the vasculature and will discuss some of the pathways whereby S1P regulates intracellular signal transduction pathways in endothelial and smooth muscle cells, leading to the activation of both vasorelaxation and vasoconstriction responses.

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