Sphingosine Phosphates

Sphingosine-1-phosphates have important signaling functions both intra- and inter-cellularly and are present at low concentrations in cells. They can promote cellular division, regulate calcium mobilization and cell growth, and inhibit apoptosis.1,2 Sphingosine-1-phosphate exerts its extra-cellular effects by acting as a ligand for specific receptors. These ligand-receptor interactions are important for the growth of new blood vessels, vascular maturation, cardiac development and immunity, the inflammatory process, and directed cell movement.3 Sphingosine-1-phosphate and its receptors may also be involved in regulating heart rate, blood flow in the coronary artery, and blood pressure. It is an indicator for certain types of cancer, probably due to its role in cell division and proliferation and is abundant in malignant tissues. Sphingosine-1-phosphate is involved in regulating the proliferation, survival, differentiation and migration of many types of stem cells, especially in the development of the vascular and nervous systems.


  1. M. Maceyka, S. Milstien, and S. Spiegel “Sphingosine-1-phosphate: the Swiss army knife of sphingolipid signaling” Journal of Lipid Research, Vol. 50 pp. S272-S276, 2009
  2. S. Alvarez, S. Milstien, S. Spiegel “Autocrine and paracrine roles of sphingosine-1-phosphate” Trends Endocrinol. Metab., Vol. 18 pp. 300-307, 2007
  3. J. Nofer “High-density lipoprotein, sphingosine-1-phosphate, and atherosclerosis” J. Clin. Lipidology, Vol. 2 pp. 4-11, 2008

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