Sphingosine-1-phosphate and FTY720 as anti-atherosclerotic lipid compounds.Eur J Clin Invest. 2007 Mar; 37(3):171-9.EJ
All stages of atherosclerosis have been identified as a chronic vascular inflammatory disease. In the last few years there is increasing evidence that endogenous lysophospholipids such as sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) have potent anti-inflammatory properties. The S1P analogue FTY720 that has been developed as a potent, orally active, immunosuppressant in the field of transplantation and autoimmune disease has interesting effects on inflammatory processes in the arterial vessel wall. S1P targets five specific S1P receptors (S1P(1-5)), which are ubiquitously expressed. S1P(1-3) receptor expression is identified in arterial vessels. S1P and FTY720 show potent silencing effects on some vascular proinflammatory mechanisms in endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells. In addition, the interaction of monocytes with the vessel wall is inhibited. As shown recently, FTY720 can effectively reduce the progression of atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice having a high-cholesterol diet. It is not entirely clear which S1P receptor subtype is mainly involved in this process. However, it is currently speculated that the S1P(3) and probably the S1P(1) is involved in the anti-atherosclerotic effects of FTY720. This review summarizes the current knowledge about S1P- and FTY720-effects on mechanisms of vascular inflammatory disease. In addition S1P receptor subtypes are identified which might be interesting for molecular drug targeting.