Blood 2008 Apr 1;111(7):3489-97. Epub 2008 Jan
Bonder, CS; Gamble, JR.; Hahn, CN; Li, X; Parsons, M; Pitson, SM; Proia, RL; Stankovic, M; Vadas, MA; Xia, P
Division of Human Immunology, Hanson Institute, Adelaide, Australia.
Endothelial cells (ECs) regulate the barrier function of blood vessels. Here we show that basal and angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1)-regulated control of EC permeability is mediated by 2 different functional states of sphingosine kinase-1 (SK-1). Mice depleted of SK-1 have increased vascular leakiness, whereas mice transgenic for SK-1 in ECs show attenuation of leakiness. Furthermore, Ang-1 rapidly and transiently stimulates SK-1 activity and phosphorylation, and induces an increase in intracellular sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) concentration. Overexpression of SK-1 resulted in inhibition of permeability similar to that seen for Ang-1, whereas knockdown of SK-1 by small interfering RNA blocked Ang-1-mediated inhibition of permeability. Transfection with SKS225A, a nonphosphorylatable mutant of SK-1, inhibited basal leakiness, and both SKS225A and a dominant-negative SK-1 mutant removed the capacity of Ang-1 to inhibit permeability. These effects were independent of extracellular S1P as knockdown or inhibition of S1P1, S1P2, or S1P3, did not affect the Ang-1 response. Thus, SK-1 levels in ECs powerfully regulate basal permeability in vitro and in vivo. In addition, the Ang-1-induced inhibition of leakiness is mediated through activation of SK-1, defining a new signaling pathway in the Ang-1 regulation of permeability.