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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2008 Nov;65(23):3725-36. doi: 10.1007/s00018-008-8236-6.

Pleiotropic effects of sphingolipids in skeletal muscle.

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Dipartimento di Scienze Biochimiche, Università di Firenze, and Istituto Interuniversitario di Miologia (IIM), 50134 Firenze, Italy.


Studies of the last two decades have demonstrated that sphingolipids are important signalling molecules exerting key roles in the control of fundamental biological processes including proliferation, differentiation, motility and survival. Here we review the role of bioactive sphingolipids such as ceramide, sphingosine, sphingosine 1-phosphate, ganglioside GM3, in the regulation of skeletal muscle biology. The emerging picture is in favour of a complex role of these molecules, which appear implicated in the activation of muscle resident stem cells, their proliferation and differentiation, finalized at skeletal muscle regeneration. Moreover, they are involved in the regulation of contractile properties, tissue responsiveness to insulin and muscle fiber trophism. Hopefully, this article will provide a framework for future investigation into the field, aimed at establishing whether altered sphingolipid metabolism is implicated in the onset of skeletal muscle diseases and identifying new pharmacological targets for the therapy of multiple illnesses, including muscular dystrophies and diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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