Abstract The high-density lipoprotein (HDL) is one of the most important endogenous cardiovascular protective markers. HDL is an attractive target in the search for new pharmaceutical therapies and in the prevention of cardiovascular events. Some of HDL's anti-atherogenic properties are related to the signaling molecule sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), which plays an important role in vascular homeostasis. However, for different patient populations it seems more complicated. Significant changes in HDL's protective potency are reduced under pathologic condi-tions and HDL might even serve as a pro-atherogenic particle. Especially under uremic condi-tions there is a change of compounds associated to HDL. S1P is reduced and acute phase pro-teins like serum amyloid A (SAA) are found to be elevated in HDL. The new design of HDL in inflammatory status changes the functional properties of HDL. High SAA amounts are associ-ated with the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis. SAA has potent pro-atherogenic properties, which may have impact on HDL biological functions, including choles-terol efflux capacity, anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory activities. This review deals with two molecules which affect the functionality of HDL. The balance between functional and dysfunctional HDL is disturbed after the loss of the protective sphingolipid molecule S1P and the accumulation of the acute phase protein SAA. This review also summarizes the biological activities of lipid-free and lipid-bound SAA and its impact on HDL function.
Gram-positive bacterial pathogens that secrete cytotoxic pore-forming toxins, such as Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae, cause a substantial burden of disease. Inspired by the principles that govern natural toxin-host interactions, we have engineered artificial liposomes that are tailored to effectively compete with host cells for toxin binding. Liposome-bound toxins are unable to lyse mammalian cells in vitro. We use these artificial liposomes as decoy targets to sequester bacterial toxins that are produced during active infection in vivo. Administration of artificial liposomes within 10 h after infection rescues mice from septicemia caused by S. aureus and S. pneumoniae, whereas untreated mice die within 24-33 h. Furthermore, liposomes protect mice against invasive pneumococcal pneumonia. Composed exclusively of naturally occurring lipids, tailored liposomes are not bactericidal and could be used therapeutically either alone or in conjunction with antibiotics to combat bacterial infections and to minimize toxin-induced tissue damage that occurs during bacterial clearance.
Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), a bioactive lipid involved in various physiological processes, can be irreversibly degraded by the membrane-bound S1P lyase (S1PL) yielding (2E)-hexadecenal and phosphoethanolamine. It is discussed that (2E)-hexadecenal is further oxidized to (2E)-hexadecenoic acid by the long-chain fatty aldehyde dehydrogenase ALDH3A2 (also known as FALDH) prior to activation via coupling to coenzyme A (CoA). Inhibition or defects in these enzymes, S1PL or FALDH, result in severe immunological disorders or the Sjögren-Larsson syndrome, respectively. Hence, it is of enormous importance to simultaneously determine the S1P breakdown product (2E)-hexadecenal and its fatty acid metabolites in biological samples. However, no method is available so far. Here, we present a sensitive and selective isotope-dilution high performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-quadrupole/time-of-flight mass spectrometry method for simultaneous quantification of (2E)-hexadecenal and its fatty acid metabolites following derivatization with 2-diphenylacetyl-1,3-indandione-1-hydrazone and 1-ethyl-3-(3-(dimethylamino)propyl)carbodiimide. Optimized conditions for sample derivatization, chromatographic separation, and MS/MS detection are presented as well as an extensive method validation. Finally, our method was successfully applied to biological samples. We found that (2E)-hexadecenal is almost quantitatively oxidized to (2E)-hexadecenoic acid, that is further activated as verified by cotreatment of HepG2 cell lysates with (2E)-hexadecenal and the acyl-CoA synthetase inhibitor triacsin C. Moreover, incubations of cell lysates with deuterated (2E)-hexadecenal revealed that no hexadecanoic acid is formed from the aldehyde. Thus, our method provides new insights into the sphingolipid metabolism and will be useful to investigate diseases known for abnormalities in long-chain fatty acid metabolism, e.g., the Sjögren-Larsson syndrome, in more detail.
Ceramide kinase (CerK) catalyzes the generation of ceramide-1-phosphate (C1P) which may regulate various cellular functions, including inflammatory reactions and cell growth. Here, we studied the effect of a recently developed CerK inhibitor, NVP-231, on cancer cell proliferation and viability, and investigated the role of cell cycle regulators implicated in these responses.
Cystic fibrosis patients and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, trauma, burn wound, or patients requiring ventilation are susceptible to severe pulmonary infection by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Physiological innate defense mechanisms against this pathogen, and their alterations in lung diseases, are for the most part unknown. We now demonstrate a role for the sphingoid long chain base, sphingosine, in determining susceptibility to lung infection by P. aeruginosa. Tracheal and bronchial sphingosine levels were significantly reduced in tissues from cystic fibrosis patients and from cystic fibrosis mouse models due to reduced activity of acid ceramidase, which generates sphingosine from ceramide. Inhalation of mice with sphingosine, with a sphingosine analog, FTY720, or with acid ceramidase rescued susceptible mice from infection. Our data suggest that luminal sphingosine in tracheal and bronchial epithelial cells prevents pulmonary P. aeruginosa infection in normal individuals, paving the way for novel therapeutic paradigms based on inhalation of acid ceramidase or of sphingoid long chain bases in lung infection.
Dendritic cells (DCs) are the cutting edge in innate and adaptive immunity. The major functions of these antigen-presenting cells are the capture, endosomal processing and presentation of antigens, providing them an exclusive ability to provoke adaptive immune responses and to induce and control tolerance. Immature DCs capture and process antigens, migrate towards secondary lymphoid organs where they present antigens to naive T cells in a well-synchronized sequence of procedures referred to as maturation. Indeed, recent research indicated that sphingolipids are modulators of essential steps in DC homeostasis. It has been recognized that sphingolipids not only modulate the development of DC subtypes from precursor cells but also influence functional activities of DCs such as antigen capture, and cytokine profiling. Thus, it is not astonishing that sphingolipids and sphingolipid metabolism play a substantial role in inflammatory diseases that are modulated by DCs. Here we highlight the function of sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) on DC homeostasis and the role of S1P and S1P metabolism in inflammatory diseases.
Insulin resistance is a complex metabolic disorder in which insulin-sensitive tissues fail to respond to the physiological action of insulin. There is a strong correlation of insulin resistance and the development of type 2 diabetes both reaching epidemic proportions. Dysfunctional lipid metabolism is a hallmark of insulin resistance and a risk factor for several cardiovascular and metabolic disorders. Numerous studies in humans and rodents have shown that insulin resistance is associated with elevations of non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) in the plasma. Moreover, bioactive lipid intermediates such as diacylglycerol (DAG) and ceramides appear to accumulate in response to NEFA, which may interact with insulin signaling. However, recent work has also indicated that sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), a breakdown product of ceramide, modulate insulin signaling in different cell types. In this review, we summarize the current state of knowledge about S1P and insulin signaling in insulin sensitive cells. A specific focus is put on the action of S1P on hepatocytes, pancreatic ?-cells and skeletal muscle cells. In particular, modulation of S1P-signaling can be considered as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
The immunomodulatory FTY720 (fingolimod) is presently approved for the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. It is a prodrug that acts by modulating sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor signaling. In this study, we have developed and characterized two novel oxazolo-oxazole derivatives of FTY720, ST-968 and the oxy analog ST-1071, which require no preceding activating phosphorylation, and proved to be active in intact cells and triggered S1P1 and S1P3, but not S1P2, receptor internalization as a result of receptor activation. Functionally, ST-968 and ST-1071 acted similar to FTY720 to abrogate S1P-triggered chemotaxis of mouse splenocytes, mouse T cells and human U937 cells, and reduced TNFa- and LPS-stimulated endothelial cell permeability. The compounds also reduced TNF?-induced ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 mRNA expression, but restored TNF?-mediated downregulation of PECAM-1 mRNA expression. In an in vivo setting, the application of ST-968 or ST-1071 to mice resulted in a reduction of blood lymphocytes and significantly reduced the clinical symptoms of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in C57BL/6 mice comparable to FTY720 either by prophylactic or therapeutic treatment. In parallel to the reduced clinical symptoms, infiltration of immune cells in the brain was strongly reduced, and in isolated tissues of brain and spinal cord, the mRNA and protein expressions of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1, as well as of matrix metalloproteinase-9 were reduced by all compounds, whereas PECAM-1 and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase TIMP-1 were upregulated. In summary, the data suggest that these novel butterfly derivatives of FTY720 could have considerable implication for future therapies of multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases.
The TTC concept uses toxicological data from animal testing to derive generic human exposure threshold values (TTC values), below which the risk of adverse effects on human health is considered to be low. It uses distributions of no-observed-adverse-effect levels (NOAELs) for substances. The 5th percentile value is divided by an uncertainty factor (100) to give a TTC value. As the toxicological data underpinning the TTC concept are from tests with oral exposure, the exposure is to be understood as an external oral exposure. For risk assessment of substances with a low absorption (by the oral route, or through skin), the internal exposure is more relevant than the external exposure. European legislation allows that tests might not be necessary for substances with negligible absorption with low internal exposure. The aim of this work is to derive internal TTC values to allow the TTC concept to be applied to situations of low internal exposure. The external NOAEL of each chemical of three databases (Munro, ELINCS, Food Contact Materials) was multiplied by the bioavailability of the individual chemical. Oral bioavailability was predicted using an in silico prediction tool (ACD Percepta). After applying a reduced uncertainty factor of 25, we derived internal TTC values. For Cramer class I, the internal TTC values are 6.9 ?g/kg bw/d (90 % confidence interval: 3.8-11.5 mg/kg bw/d); for Cramer class II/III 0.1 ?g/kg bw/d (90 % confidence interval: 0.08-0.14 ?g/kg bw/d).
DNA-methylation is a common epigenetic tool which plays a crucial role in gene regulation and is essential for cell differentiation and embryonic development. The placenta is an important organ where gene activity can be regulated by epigenetic DNA modifications, including DNA methylation. This is of interest as, the placenta is the interface between the fetus and its environment, the mother. Exposure to environmental toxins and nutrition during pregnancy may alter DNA methylation of the placenta and subsequently placental function and as a result the phenotype of the offspring. The aim of this study was to develop a reliable method to quantify DNA methylation in large clinical studies. This will be a tool to analyze the degree of DNA methylation in the human placenta in relationship to clinical readouts.
The hormone calcitonin (CT) is primarily known for its pharmacologic action as an inhibitor of bone resorption, yet CT-deficient mice display increased bone formation. These findings raised the question about the underlying cellular and molecular mechanism of CT action. Here we show that either ubiquitous or osteoclast-specific inactivation of the murine CT receptor (CTR) causes increased bone formation. CT negatively regulates the osteoclast expression of Spns2 gene, which encodes a transporter for the signalling lipid sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P). CTR-deficient mice show increased S1P levels, and their skeletal phenotype is normalized by deletion of the S1P receptor S1P3. Finally, pharmacologic treatment with the nonselective S1P receptor agonist FTY720 causes increased bone formation in wild-type, but not in S1P3-deficient mice. This study redefines the role of CT in skeletal biology, confirms that S1P acts as an osteoanabolic molecule in vivo and provides evidence for a pharmacologically exploitable crosstalk between osteoclasts and osteoblasts.
Five different G protein-coupled sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptors (S1P1-S1P5) regulate a variety of physiologic and pathophysiologic processes, including lymphocyte circulation, multiple sclerosis (MS), and cancer. Although B-lymphocyte circulation plays an important role in these processes and is essential for normal immune responses, little is known about S1P receptors in human B cells.
Enhanced plasma levels of NEFA have been shown to induce hepatic insulin resistance, which contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes. Indeed, sphingolipids can be formed via a de novo pathway from the saturated fatty acid palmitate and the amino acid serine. Besides ceramides, sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) has been identified as a major bioactive lipid mediator. Therefore, our aim was to investigate the generation and function of S1P in hepatic insulin resistance.
Detection of cancer precursors contributes to cancer prevention, for example, in the case of colorectal cancer. To record more patients early, ultrasensitive methods are required for the purpose of noninvasive precursor detection in body fluids. Our aim was to develop a method for enrichment and detection of known as well as unknown driver mutations in the Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene. By coupled wild-type blocking (WTB) PCR and high-resolution melting (HRM), referred to as WTB-HRM, a minimum detection limit of 0.01% mutant in excess wild-type was achieved according to as little as 1 pg mutated DNA in the assay. The technique was applied to 80 tissue samples from patients with colorectal cancer (n = 17), adenomas (n = 50), serrated lesions (n = 8), and normal mucosa (n = 5). Any kind of known and unknown APC mutations (deletions, insertions, and base exchanges) being situated inside the mutation cluster region was distinguishable from wild-type DNA. Furthermore, by WTB-HRM, nearly twice as many carcinomas and 1.5 times more precursor lesions were identified to be mutated in APC, as compared with direct sequencing. By analyzing 31 associated stool DNA specimens all but one of the APC mutations could be recovered. Transferability of the WTB-HRM method to other genes was proven using the example of KRAS mutation analysis. In summary, WTB-HRM is a new approach for ultrasensitive detection of cancer-initiating mutations. In this sense, it appears especially applicable for noninvasive detection of colon cancer precursors in body fluids with excess wild-type DNA like stool.
Steatosis is a risk factor in partial hepatectomy (PH) under ischaemia-reperfusion (I/R), which is commonly applied in clinical practice to reduce bleeding. Nutritional support strategies, as well as the role of peripheral adipose tissue as energy source for liver regeneration, remain poorly investigated.
Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is a cellular signalling lipid generated by sphingosine kinase-1 (SPHK1). The aim of the study was to investigate whether the activated coagulation factor-X (FXa) regulates SPHK1 transcription and the formation of S1P and subsequent mitogenesis and migration of human vascular smooth muscle cells (SMC).
Major depression is a highly prevalent severe mood disorder that is treated with antidepressants. The molecular targets of antidepressants require definition. We investigated the role of the acid sphingomyelinase (Asm)-ceramide system as a target for antidepressants. Therapeutic concentrations of the antidepressants amitriptyline and fluoxetine reduced Asm activity and ceramide concentrations in the hippocampus, increased neuronal proliferation, maturation and survival and improved behavior in mouse models of stress-induced depression. Genetic Asm deficiency abrogated these effects. Mice overexpressing Asm, heterozygous for acid ceramidase, treated with blockers of ceramide metabolism or directly injected with C16 ceramide in the hippocampus had higher ceramide concentrations and lower rates of neuronal proliferation, maturation and survival compared with controls and showed depression-like behavior even in the absence of stress. The decrease of ceramide abundance achieved by antidepressant-mediated inhibition of Asm normalized these effects. Lowering ceramide abundance may thus be a central goal for the future development of antidepressants.
Mammalian skin protects our body against external assaults due to a well-organized skin barrier. The formation of the skin barrier is a complex process, in which basal keratinocytes lose their mitotic activity and differentiate to corneocytes. These corneocytes are embedded in intercellular lipid lamellae composed of ceramides, cholesterol, fatty acids, and cholesterol esters. Ceramides are the dominant lipid molecules and their reduction is connected with a transepidermal water loss and an epidermal barrier dysfunction resulting in inflammatory skin diseases. Moreover, bioactive sphingolipid metabolites like ceramide-1-phosphate, sphingosylphosphorylcholine, and sphingosine-1-phosphate are also involved in the biological modulation of keratinocytes and immune cells of the skin. Therefore, it is not astonishing that a dysregulation of sphingolipid metabolism has been identified in inflammatory skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis vulgaris. This chapter will describe not only the specific sphingolipid species and their skin functions but also the dysregulation of sphingolipid metabolism in inflammatory skin diseases.
It has been indicated that the sphingolipid sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) restrains the ability of dendritic cells to migrate to lymph nodes. Furthermore S1P has been demonstrated to inhibit cell growth in human keratinocytes. However, only little is known about the effect of S1P in hyperproliferative and inflammatory in vivo models.
Cathepsin K (CTSK) is secreted by osteoclasts to degrade collagen and other matrix proteins during bone resorption. Global deletion of Ctsk in mice decreases bone resorption, leading to osteopetrosis, but also increases the bone formation rate (BFR). To understand how Ctsk deletion increases the BFR, we generated osteoclast- and osteoblast-targeted Ctsk knockout mice using floxed Ctsk alleles. Targeted ablation of Ctsk in hematopoietic cells, or specifically in osteoclasts and cells of the monocyte-osteoclast lineage, resulted in increased bone volume and BFR as well as osteoclast and osteoblast numbers. In contrast, targeted deletion of Ctsk in osteoblasts had no effect on bone resorption or BFR, demonstrating that the increased BFR is osteoclast dependent. Deletion of Ctsk in osteoclasts increased their sphingosine kinase 1 (Sphk1) expression. Conditioned media from Ctsk-deficient osteoclasts, which contained elevated levels of sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), increased alkaline phosphatase and mineralized nodules in osteoblast cultures. An S1P1,3 receptor antagonist inhibited these responses. Osteoblasts derived from mice with Ctsk-deficient osteoclasts had an increased RANKL/OPG ratio, providing a positive feedback loop that increased the number of osteoclasts. Our data provide genetic evidence that deletion of CTSK in osteoclasts enhances bone formation in vivo by increasing the generation of osteoclast-derived S1P.
Sphingosine kinase-1 is known to mediate Mycobacterium smegmatis induced inflammatory responses in macrophages, but its role in controlling infection has not been reported to date. We aimed to unravel the significance of SphK-1 in controlling M. smegmatis infection in RAW 264.7 macrophages. Our results demonstrated for the first time that selective inhibition of SphK-1 by either D, L threo dihydrosphingosine (DHS; a competitive inhibitor of Sphk-1) or Sphk-1 siRNA rendered RAW macrophages sensitive to M. smegmatis infection. This was due to the reduction in the expression of iNOs, p38, pp-38, late phagosomal marker, LAMP-2 and stabilization of the RelA (pp-65) subunit of NF-kappaB. This led to a reduction in the generation of NO and secretion of TNF-alpha in infected macrophages. Congruently, overexpression of SphK-1 conferred resistance in macrophages to infection which was due to enhancement in the generation of NO and expression of iNOs, pp38 and LAMP-2. In addition, our results also unraveled a novel regulation of p38MAPK by SphK-1 during M. smegmatis infection and generation of NO in macrophages. Enhanced NO generation and expression of iNOs in SphK-1++ infected macrophages demonstrated their M-1(bright) phenotype of these macrophages. These findings thus suggested a novel antimycobacterial role of SphK-1 in macrophages.
The lysophospholipids sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) and lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) are small lipid molecules with a variety of physiological roles. Additionally, their involvement in the initiation and progression of malignant tumors has been increasingly recognized in recent years. However, the data on the expression of S1P and LPA receptors on different cancer cells are very few. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was used for the analysis of mRNA expression of five S1P((1-5)) and three LPA((1-3)) receptors on a large panel of 13 colon, breast, melanoma, and lung cancer cell lines. Furthermore, the modulation of S1P and LPA receptor mRNA expression was studied upon xenotransplantation of tumor cells into severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice. The S1P and LPA receptors were expressed to a variable degree on all tumor cell lines tested (with exception of colon cancer SW480). Most notably, tumor cell lines in vitro expressed S1P(2) mRNA that was down-regulated upon xenotransplantation, whereas LPA(2) receptor mRNA was strongly expressed both in vitro and in vivo (except by breast cancer cells). The latter was especially distinctive for small cell lung tumor cells. The S1P and LPA receptors are differentially expressed on tumor cell lines in vitro. Their expression is modulated upon xenografting into SCID mice in vivo.
The sphingolipid sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) induces chemotaxis of primary fibroblasts. Thus, S1P exhibited a chemotactic effect in a concentration-dependent manner from 10?? to 10?? M; higher concentrations resulted in a loss of migration, and lower amounts were ineffective to evoke movement toward a concentration gradient of S1P. In congruence with the migratory response, S1P caused an extension of lamellipodia at the cell periphery of human fibroblasts and a rearrangement of the cytoskeleton. These effects were visible by phalloidin staining of actin filaments as well as focal adhesion turnover. As the molecular mechanism of S1P-mediated migration of fibroblasts has not been well characterized, we investigated whether S1P-receptors are involved in the chemotactic response. Indeed, inhibition of G(i) signalling markedly reduced motility towards S1P, suggesting an involvement of S1P-receptor subtypes. Moreover, downregulation of S1P? and S1P? indicated that these S1P-receptor subtypes are responsible for the chemotactic action of the bioactive sphingolipid. After having identified a crosstalk between Smad-proteins and S1P-signalling, we investigated whether Smad-activation is involved in the chemotactic response induced by S1P. Indeed S1P caused a Smad-activation via the S1P receptor subtypes S1P? and S1P?. Moreover, downregulation of Smad3 diminished the ability of S1P to mediate a chemotactic response in fibroblasts, indicating a crosstalk between TGF-?- and S1P-signalling.
Recently, the three-dimensional structure of the active site of human DNA polymerase alpha (pol alpha) was proposed based on the application of molecular modeling methods and molecular dynamic simulations. The modeled structure of the enzyme was used for docking selective inhibitors (nucleotide analogs and the non-nucleoside inhibitor aphidicolin) in its active site in order to design new drugs for actinic keratosis and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). The resulting complexes explained the geometrical and physicochemical interactions of the inhibitors with the amino acid residues involved in binding to the catalytic site, and offered insight into the experimentally derived binding data. The proposed structures were synthesized and tested in vitro for their influence on human keratinocytes and relevant tumor cell lines. Effects were compared to aphidicolin which inhibits pol alpha in a non-competitive manner, as well as to diclofenac and 5-fluorouracil, both approved for therapy of actinic keratosis. Here we describe three new nucleoside analogs inhibiting keratinocyte proliferation by inhibiting DNA synthesis and inducing apoptosis and necrosis. Thus, the combination of modeling studies and in vitro tests should allow the derivation of new drug candidates for the therapy of skin tumors, given that the agents are not relevant substrates of nucleotide transporters expressed by skin cancer cells. Kinases for nucleoside activation were detected, too, corresponding with the observed effects of nucleoside analogs.
FTY720, a synthetic compound produced by modification of a metabolite from Isaria sinclairii, is known as a unique immunosuppressive agent that exerts its activity by inhibiting lymphocyte egress from secondary lymphoid tissues. FTY720 is phosphorylated in vivo by sphingosine kinase 2 to FTY720-phosphate (FTY720-P), which acts as a potent sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptor agonist. Despite its homology to S1P, which exerts antiapoptotic actions in different cells, FTY720 has also been reported to be able to induce apoptosis in a variety of cells.
The major sphingolipid metabolite sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) plays a central role in maintaining the homeostasis of lymphocyte motility. S1P is the ligand for a family of five GPCRs termed S1P1 to S1P5, each with distinct signaling pathways. The significance of S1P in immune cell regulation was revealed when the immunomodulator fingolimod (Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp/Novartis AG) was discovered to cause lymphopenia via S1P1 signaling. Clinical trials have targeted S1P1 receptor modulators for autoimmune diseases, particularly for the potential treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) and the prevention of transplant rejection. This review highlights the potential use of S1P receptor modulation in the clinic and summarizes the clinical experience with these compounds in MS and transplant rejection.
Topical used glucocorticoids (GC) represent an important class of steroid hormones for the treatment of a broad range of acute or chronic inflammatory diseases. Most interestingly, GC exert a pronounced anti-apoptotic effect in primary human fibroblasts whereas in variety of hematopoietic cells a pro-apoptotic effect is visible. Recently, it has been discovered that in human fibroblasts the GC dexamethasone (Dex) exerts its protection from programmed cell death via the formation of the lipid mediator sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) followed by an activation of the S1P(3)-receptor subtype. In the present study, the molecular mechanism of Dex to protect human fibroblasts from apoptosis was elucidated. Thereupon, Dex not only mediates its anti-apoptotic effect via activation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signalling but also includes an involvement of the Bcl-2 family protein Bcl(XL). Most interestingly, the use of S1P(3)-knockout fibroblasts revealed that the S1P(3)-receptor subtype is crucial for activation of PKB/Akt as well as Bcl(XL) by Dex.
Employing genetic mouse models we have recently shown that ceramide accumulation is critically involved in the pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease. Genetic or systemic inhibition of the acid sphingomyelinase (Asm) is not feasible for treatment of patients or might cause adverse effects. Thus, a manipulation of ceramide specifically in lungs of CF mice must be developed. We tested whether inhalation of different acid sphingomyelinase inhibitors does reduce Asm activity and ceramide accumulation in lungs of CF mice. The efficacy and specificity of the drugs was determined. Ceramide was determined by mass spectrometry, DAG-kinase assays, and fluorescence microscopy. We determined pulmonary and systemic Asm activity, neutral sphingomyelinase (Nsm), ceramide, cytokines, and infection susceptibility. Mass spectroscopy, DAG-kinase assays, and semiquantitative immune fluorescence microscopy revealed that a standard diet did not influence ceramide in bronchial respiratory epithelial cells, while a diet with Peptamen severely affected the concentration of sphingolipids in CF lungs. Inhalation of the Asm inhibitors amitriptyline, trimipramine, desipramine, chlorprothixene, fluoxetine, amlodipine, or sertraline restored normal ceramide concentrations in murine bronchial epithelial cells, reduced inflammation in the lung of CF mice and prevented infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. All drugs showed very similar efficacy. Inhalation of the drugs was without systemic effects and did not inhibit Nsm. These findings employing several structurally different Asm inhibitors identify Asm as primary target in the lung to reduce ceramide concentrations. Inhaling an Asm inhibitor may be a beneficial treatment for CF, with minimal adverse systemic effects.
Glucocorticoids (GC) represent the most commonly used drugs for the treatment of acute and chronic inflammatory skin diseases. However, the topical long-term therapy of GC is limited by the occurrence of skin atrophy. Most interestingly, although GC inhibit proliferation of human fibroblasts, they exert a pronounced anti-apoptopic action. In the present study, we further elucidated the molecular mechanism of the GC dexamethasone (Dex) to protect human fibroblasts from programmed cell death. Dex not only significantly alters the expression of the cytosolic isoenzyme sphingosine kinase 1 but also initiated an enhanced intracellular formation of the sphingolipid sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P). Investigations using S1P (3) ((-/-)) -fibroblasts revealed that this S1P-receptor subtype is essential for the Dex-induced cytoprotection. Moreover, we demonstrate that the ATP-binding cassette (ABC)-transporter ABCC1 is upregulated by Dex and may represent a crucial carrier to transport S1P from the cytosol to the S1P(3)-receptor subtype.
For efficient pain reduction in severe skin wounds, topical opioids may be a new option - given that wound healing is not impaired and the vehicle allows for slow opioid release, since long intervals of painful wound dressing changes are intended. We investigated the influence of opioids on the wound healing process via in vitro models, migration assay and scratch test. In fact, morphine, hydromorphone, fentanyl and buprenorphine increased the number of migrated HaCaT cells (spontaneously transformed keratinocytes) twofold. In the scratch test, morphine accelerated the closure of a monolayer wound (scratch). As possible slow release application forms are nanoparticulate systems like solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) and dendritic core-multishell (CMS) nanotransporters, we evaluated the effect of unloaded nanoparticles on HaCaT cell migration, too. CMS nanotransporters did not inhibit migration, SLN even enhanced it (twofold). Applying morphine plus unloaded nanoparticles reduced morphine effects possibly due to uptake into CMS nanotransporters and adsorption to the surface of SLN. In contrast to SLN, TGF-beta1 was taken up by CMS nanotransporters, too. Both nanoparticles are tolerable by skin and eye as derived from Episkin-SM(TM) skin irritation test and HET-CAM assay. No acute toxic effects were observed either. In conclusion, opioids as well as the investigated nanoparticulate carriers conform the essential conditions for topical pain reduction.
Migration of Langerhans cells (LCs) from the skin to the lymph node is an essential step in the pathogenesis of allergic contact dermatitis (ACD). Therefore, inhibition of LC-migration could be a promising strategy to improve this skin disease. Effects of sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) and the immunomodulator FTY720 on LC trafficking is not well defined, yet. Thus, we investigated the action of topically administered S1P and FTY720 in a murine model of ACD. Most interestingly, FTY720 as well as S1P inhibited the inflammatory reaction in the elicitation phase of ACD. In the sensitization phase, FTY720, and S1P reduced the weight and cell count of the draining auricular lymph node, as well as immigrated dendritic cells provoked by repetitive topical administration of the hapten. Correspondingly, the density of LCs in the epidermis was higher in FTY720- and S1P-treated mice compared to vehicle treatment. A skin dendritic cell migration assay confirmed the significant inhibition of dendritic cell migration by FTY720 and S1P. These data supply conclusive evidence that the strategy of targeting the migratory response of LCs with locally acting S1P or FTY720 represents an emerging option in the treatment of allergic skin diseases like contact hypersensitivity and atopic dermatitis.
Induction of apoptosis mediated by the inhibition of ceramidases has been shown to enhance the efficacy of conventional chemotherapy in several cancer models. Among the inhibitors of ceramidases reported in the literature, B-13 is considered as a lead compound having good in vitro potency towards acid ceramidase. Furthermore, owing to the poor activity of B-13 on lysosoamal acid ceramidase in living cells, LCL-464 a modified derivative of B-13 containing a basic ?-amino group at the fatty acid was reported to have higher potency towards lysosomal acid ceramidase in living cells. In a search for more potent inhibitors of ceramidases, we have designed a series of compounds with structural modifications of B-13 and LCL-464. In this study, we show that the efficacy of B-13 in vitro as well as in intact cells can be enhanced by suitable modification of functional groups. Furthermore, a detailed SAR investigation on LCL-464 analogues revealed novel promising inhibitors of aCDase and nCDase. In cell culture studies using the breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231, some of the newly developed compounds elevated endogenous ceramide levels and in parallel, also induced apoptotic cell death. In summary, this study shows that structural modification of the known ceramidase inhibitors B-13 and LCL-464 generates more potent ceramidase inhibitors that are active in intact cells and not only elevates the cellular ceramide levels, but also enhances cell death.
Dendritic cells (DCs) play a pivotal role in the development of cutaneous contact hypersensitivity (CHS) and atopic dermatitis as they capture and process antigen and present it to T lymphocytes in the lymphoid organs. Recently, it has been indicated that a topical application of the sphingolipid sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) prevents the inflammatory response in CHS, but the molecular mechanism is not fully elucidated. Here we indicate that treatment of mice with S1P is connected with an impaired antigen uptake by Langerhans cells (LCs), the initial step of CHS. Most of the known actions of S1P are mediated by a family of five specific G protein-coupled receptors. Our results indicate that S1P inhibits macropinocytosis of the murine LC line XS52 via S1P(2) receptor stimulation followed by a reduced phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) activity. As down-regulation of S1P(2) not only diminished S1P-mediated action but also enhanced the basal activity of LCs on antigen capture, an autocrine action of S1P has been assumed. Actually, S1P is continuously produced by LCs and secreted via the ATP binding cassette transporter ABCC1 to the extracellular environment. Consequently, inhibition of ABCC1, which decreased extracellular S1P levels, markedly increased the antigen uptake by LCs. Moreover, stimulation of sphingosine kinase activity, the crucial enzyme for S1P formation, is connected not only with enhanced S1P levels but also with diminished antigen capture. These results indicate that S1P is essential in LC homeostasis and influences skin immunity. This is of importance as previous reports suggested an alteration of S1P levels in atopic skin lesions.
Although the lipid mediator sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) has been identified to induce cell growth arrest of human keratinocytes, the sphingolipid effectively protects these epidermal cells from apoptosis. The molecular mechanism of the anti-apoptotic action induced by S1P is less characterized. Apart from S1P, endogenously produced nitric oxide (NO•) has been recognized as a potent modulator of apoptosis in keratinocytes. Therefore, it was of great interest to elucidate whether S1P protects human keratinocytes via a NO•-dependent signalling pathway. Indeed, S1P induced an activation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) in human keratinocytes leading to an enhanced formation of NO•. Most interestingly, the cell protective effect of S1P was almost completely abolished in the presence of the eNOS inhibitor L-NAME as well as in eNOS-deficient keratinocytes indicating that the sphingolipid metabolite S1P protects human keratinocytes from apoptosis via eNOS activation and subsequent production of protective amounts of NO•. It is well established that most of the known actions of S1P are mediated by a family of five specific G protein-coupled receptors. Therefore, the involvement of S1P-receptor subtypes in S1P-mediated eNOS activation has been examined. Indeed, this study clearly shows that the S1P(3) is the exclusive receptor subtype in human keratinocytes which mediates eNOS activation and NO• formation in response to S1P. In congruence, when the S1P(3) receptor subtype is abrogated, S1P almost completely lost its ability to protect human keratinocytes from apoptosis.
Sphingosine-1-phosphate lyase (SPL) is the only known enzyme that irreversibly cleaves sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) into phosphoethanolamine and (2E)-hexadecenal during the final step of sphingolipid catabolism. Because S1P is involved in a wide range of physiological and diseased processes, determining the activity of the degrading enzyme is of great interest. Therefore, we developed two procedures based on liquid chromatography (LC) for analysing (2E)-hexadecenal, which is one of the two S1P degradation products. After separation, two different quantification methods were performed, tandem mass spectrometry (MS) and fluorescence detection. However, (2E)-hexadecenal as a long-chain aldehyde is not ionisable by electrospray ionisation (ESI) for MS quantification and has an insufficient number of corresponding double bonds for fluorescence detection. Therefore, we investigated 2-diphenylacetyl-1,3-indandione-1-hydrazone (DAIH) as a derivatisation reagent. DAIH transforms the aldehyde into an ionisable and fluorescent analogue for quantitative analysis. Our conditions were optimised to obtain the outstanding limit of detection (LOD) of 1 fmol per sample (30 ?L) for LC-MS/MS and 0.75 pmol per sample (200 ?L) for LC determination with fluorescence detection. We developed an extraction procedure to separate and concentrate (2E)-hexadecenal from biological samples for these measurements. To confirm our new methods, we analysed the (2E)-hexadecenal level of different cell lines and human plasma for the first time ever. Furthermore, we treated HT-29 cells with different concentrations of 4-deoxypyridoxine (DOP), which competitively inhibits pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P5P), an essential cofactor for SPL activity, and observed a significant decrease in (2E)-hexadecenal relative to the untreated cells.
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