The role of sphingosine 1-phosphate receptors on retinal pigment epithelial cells barrier function and angiogenic effects

Ryo Terao, Megumi Honjo, Kiyohito Totsuka, Yukihiro Miwa, Toshihide Kurihara, Makoto Aihara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is a lysophospholipid mediator, promoting angiogenesis and inflammation via interactions with its receptors (S1P1–5), but the receptors and signaling pathways responsible for the progression of choroidal neovascularization (CNV) remain unknown. We investigated the roles of S1P/S1P receptors in RPE cells. ARPE-19 cells were treated with S1P dissolved in carrier proteins of albumin or apolipoprotein M (ApoM). The mRNA expression levels of interleukin-8 (IL-8), C-C motif chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were evaluated using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. The protein level of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α was assessed via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. HIF transcriptional activity was evaluated with a dual-reporter luciferase assay. Cellular barrier integrity was evaluated using transepithelial electrical resistance and the FITC-dextran permeability assay. The suppressive effect of an S1P antagonist on CNV progression was investigated with a laser-induced CNV model in mice. The increase in expression of IL-8, CCL2, and VEGF due to albumin-bound S1P was significantly mitigated by an S1P2 antagonist. The expression of HIF-1α significantly decreased with inhibition of S1P2 and S1P3. In addition, albumin-bound S1P disrupted the barrier integrity of retinal pigment epithelial cells via S1P2, whereas integrity was strengthened by ApoM-bound S1P. CNV lesions were significantly reduced in the mouse model with intravitreal injection of S1P2 antagonist. This study demonstrated that S1P significantly promotes angiogenesis, inflammation, and barrier integrity, which was attenuated by inhibition of S1P2 or S1P3, suggesting that regulation of S1P2 and S1P3 is a novel therapeutic target for CNV.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106365
JournalProstaglandins and Other Lipid Mediators
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec


  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Apolipoprotein M
  • Choroidal neovascularization
  • Mouse
  • Retinal pigment epithelium
  • Sphingosine 1-phosphate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cell Biology


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