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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2004 Oct;15(5):513-20.

Physiological and pathological actions of sphingosine 1-phosphate.

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Department of Cell Biology, Center for Vascular Biology, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT 06030-3501, USA.


Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), a product of sphingomyelin (SM) metabolism, occurs widely in nature. Although, originally described as an intracellular second messenger, its role as an extracellular lipid mediator in higher organisms has recently been shown with the discovery of the G protein-coupled receptors (GRCR) for S1P. In mammals, S1P receptors are widely expressed and are thought to regulate important physiological actions, such as immune cell trafficking, vascular development, vascular tone control, cardiac function, and vascular permeability, among others. In addition, S1P may participate in various pathological conditions. For example, S1P has been implicated as an important mediator in autoimmunity, transplant rejection, cancer, angiogenesis, vascular permeability, female infertility, and myocardial infarction. It is important to emphasize that these findings represent an early understanding of the physiological and pathological roles of S1P. The ubiquity of the mediator and its receptors, as well as the evolutionary conservation of S1P metabolism and action, argues that it is a potent and ubiquitous physiological factor in many contexts, and warrant a fuller understanding of its actions at the molecular, cellular and organismal levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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