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Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2011 Jul;301(1):F35-41. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00014.2011. Epub 2011 Apr 6.

A novel lipid natriuretic factor in the renal medulla: sphingosine-1-phosphate.

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Dept. of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medical College of Virginia Campus, Virginia Commonwealth University, PO Box 980613, Richmond, VA 23298, USA.


Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is a bioactive sphingolipid metabolite formed by phosphorylation of sphingosine. S1P has been indicated to play a significant role in the cardiovascular system. It has been shown that the enzymes for S1P metabolism are expressed in the kidneys. The present study characterized the expression of S1P receptors in the kidneys and determined the role of S1P in the control of renal hemodynamics and sodium excretion. Real-time RT-PCR analyses showed that S1P receptors S1P1, S1P2, and S1P3 were most abundantly expressed in the renal medulla. Immunohistochemistry revealed that all three types of S1P receptors were mainly located in collecting ducts. Intramedullary infusion of FTY720, an S1P agonist, produced a dramatic increase in sodium excretion by twofold and a small but significant increase in medullary blood flow (16%). Administration of W146, an S1P1 antagonist, into the renal medulla blocked the effect of FTY720 and decreased the sodium excretion by 37% when infused alone. The antagonists of S1P2 and S1P3 had no effect. FTY720 produced additive natriuretic effects in combination with different sodium transporter inhibitors except amiloride, an epithelial sodium channel blocker. In the presence of nitric oxide synthase inhibitor l-NAME, FTY720 still increased sodium excretion. These data suggest that S1P produces natriuretic effects via activation of S1P1 in the renal medulla and this natriuretic effect may be through inhibition of epithelial sodium channel, which is nitric oxide independent. It is concluded that S1P is a novel diuretic factor in the renal medulla and may be an important regulator of sodium homeostasis.

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