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Thromb Res. 1995 Dec 15;80(6):509-18.

Sphingomyelinase and cell-permeable ceramide analogs increase the release of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 from cultured endothelial cells.

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Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Fukuoka University, Japan.


We investigated the effect of exogenous staphylococcal sphingomyelinase (SMase) on the release of tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) from cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). Addition of SMase (2 units/ml) to the culture medium induced an approx. 15-fold increase in the extracellular level of PAI-1 antigen at 3 h. No significant increase in the level of t-PA antigen was detected. Treatment of HUVEC with SMASE (2 units/ml) for 3 h resulted in a significant decrease in the cellular sphingomyelin (SM) level, accompanied by a corresponding increase in the ceramide level. Cell-permeable ceramide analogs also enhanced the release of PAI-1 from cultured HUVEC in concentration- and time-dependent manners. A 6-fold increase in PAI-1 antigen level was observed after incubation for 3 h with 10 microM N-acetylsphingosine. Similar effect was noted as early as 2 h with 10 microM N-hexyanoylsphingosine. Addition of sphingosine failed to affect the release of PAI-1 from cultured HUVEC, indicating that the effects of ceramide analogs were independent of sphingosine generation. Pretreatment with cycloheximide or actinomycin D abated the response of HUVEC to N-acetylsphingosine in the increased levels of both extracellular and intracellular PAI-1. These results suggest that ceramide, generated via "SM cycle", acts as a lipid mediator of PAI-1 release from vascular endothelial cells, and may contribute to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of the PAI-1-associated thrombotic disorders.

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