Sphingosine 1-phosphate induces angiogenesis: Its angiogenic action and signaling mechanism in human umbilical vein endothelial cells

Ok Hee Lee, Young Mi Kim, You Mie Lee, Eun Joung Moon, Doo Jae Lee, Jae-Hong Kim, Kyu Won Kim, Young Guen Kwon

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Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) is a bioactive sphingolipid metabolite abundantly stored in platelets and released upon platelet activation. Recently, S1P has been postulated for its potential roles in angiogenesis. In this study, we provided several lines of evidence showing that S1P has angiogenic activity. In vitro, S1P stimulated DNA synthesis and chemotactic motility of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in a dose-dependent manner, reaching a near maximum at 1 μM. S1P also significantly induced tube formation of HUVECs on Matrigel. Matrigel plug assay in mice revealed that S1P promotes angiogenesis in vivo. In addition, exposure of HUVECs to S1P led to rapid activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) in a pertussis toxin (PTX)-sensitive manner. Notably, HUVEC migration and tube formation in response to S1P were completely blocked by pretreatment with PTX. Further, the MEK inhibitor U0126 markedly inhibited S1P-induced tube formation but S1P-induced migration was not affected by inhibition of ERK and p38 MAPK. Taken together, these results indicate that S1P induces angiogenesis predominantly via G(i) protein-coupled receptors in endothelial cells and suggest that S1P may act as an important modulator of platelet-induced angiogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)743-750
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Nov 2
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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