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J Immunol. 2005 Sep 1;175(5):2960-7.

Sphingosine-1-phosphate mediates migration of mature dendritic cells.

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Institute of Immunology, Hannover Medical School, Germany.


Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) represents a potent modulator of diverse cellular activities, including lymphocyte trafficking and maintenance of lymphocyte homeostasis. The five known receptors for S1P (S1P(1-5)) belong to the family of G protein-coupled receptors. Upon binding S1P, they act downstream via heterotrimeric G proteins on members of the small GTPase family (Cdc42/Rac/Rho), evoking a S1P receptor-dependent activation pattern of Cdc42, Rac, and Rho, respectively. This, in turn, triggers cytoskeletal rearrangements determining cellular morphology and movement. In this study we investigated the effects of S1P on murine dendritic cells (DC). Mature DC, but not immature in vitro differentiated DC, were found to migrate to S1P, a phenomenon that correlated to the up-regulation of S1P1 and S1P3 in maturing DC. The same pattern of S1P receptor regulation could be observed in vivo on skin DC after their activation and migration into the lymph node. The migration-inducing effect of S1P could be severely hampered by application of the S1P analogon FTY720 in vitro and in vivo. A similar, yet more pronounced, block was observed upon preventing Cdc42/Rac and/or Rho activation by specific inhibitors. These results suggest that S1P-mediated signaling plays a pivotal role in the life cycle of DC.

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