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J Lipids. 2012;2012:180705. doi: 10.1155/2012/180705. Epub 2012 Nov 8.

Sphingosine 1-phosphate distribution in human plasma: associations with lipid profiles.

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Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.


The physiological significance of sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) transport in blood has been debated. We have recently reported a comprehensive sphingolipid profile in human plasma and lipoprotein particles (VLDL, LDL, and HDL) using HPLC-MS/MS (Hammad et al., 2010). We now determined the relative concentrations of sphingolipids including S1P in the plasma subfraction containing lipoproteins compared to those in the remaining plasma proteins. Sphingomyelin and ceramide were predominantly recovered in the lipoprotein-containing fraction. Total plasma S1P concentration was positively correlated with S1P concentration in the protein-containing fraction, but not with S1P concentration in the lipoprotein-containing fraction. The percentage of S1P transported in plasma lipoproteins was positively correlated with HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) concentration; however, S1P transport in lipoproteins was not limited by the concentration of HDL-C in the individual subject. Thus, different plasma pools of S1P may have different contributions to S1P signaling in health and disease.

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