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Experimental neurology

Sphingosine kinase 1 mediates neuroinflammation following cerebral ischemia.


PMID 25797575

Abstract

Sphingosine kinases (Sphks) are the rate-limiting kinases in the generation of sphingosine-1-phosphate, which is a well-established intracellular pro-survival lipid mediator. Sphk2 has been reported to be protective following experimental stroke. We investigated the role of Sphk1 in cerebral ischemia using a mouse middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model and an in vitro glucose-oxygen deprivation (OGD) model. Sphk expression and activity were assessed in the ischemic brain with quantitative PCR (qPCR), Western blot, immunohistochemistry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Pharmacological and gene knockdown approaches were utilized to investigate the effects of Sphk1 on stroke outcomes. The expression of Sphk1 but not that of Sphk2 was rapidly induced in the cortical penumbra over 96h after MCAO, and the microglia were one of the major cellular sources of Sphk1 induction. Consistently, Sphk activity was enhanced in the cortical penumbra. In contrast to the protective role of Sphk2, pharmacological inhibition and cortical knockdown of Sphk1 reduced infarction at 24 and 96h after reperfusion. Additionally, the Sphk1 inhibitor improved the neurological deficits at 96h after reperfusion. Mechanistically, Sphk1 inhibition and knockdown significantly attenuated MCAO-induced expression of inflammatory mediators in the cortical penumbra. Moreover, using a conditioned medium transfer approach, we demonstrated that OGD-treated neurons induced the expression of Sphk1 and pro-inflammatory mediators in primary microglia, and the microglial induction of pro-inflammatory mediators by ischemic neurons was blunted by Sphk1 inhibition. Taken together, our results indicate that Sphk1 plays an essential role in mediating post-stroke neuroinflammation.

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