A bidirectional crosstalk between glioblastoma and brain endothelial cells potentiates the angiogenic and proliferative signaling of sphingosine-1-phosphate in the glioblastoma microenvironment

Loubna Abdel Hadi, Viviana Anelli, Laura Guarnaccia, Stefania Navone, Matteo Beretta, Francesco Moccia, Cristina Tringali, Vasile Urechie, Rolando Campanella, Giovanni Marfia, Laura Riboni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Glioblastoma is one of the most malignant, angiogenic, and incurable tumors in humans. The aberrant communication between glioblastoma cells and tumor microenvironment represents one of the major factors regulating glioblastoma malignancy and angiogenic properties. Emerging evidence implicates sphingosine-1-phosphate signaling in the pathobiology of glioblastoma and angiogenesis, but its role in glioblastoma-endothelial crosstalk remains largely unknown. In this study, we sought to determine whether the crosstalk between glioblastoma cells and brain endothelial cells regulates sphingosine-1-phosphate signaling in the tumor microenvironment. Using human glioblastoma and brain endothelial cell lines, as well as primary brain endothelial cells derived from human glioblastoma, we report that glioblastoma-co-culture promotes the expression, activity, and plasma membrane enrichment of sphingosine kinase 2 in brain endothelial cells, leading to increased cellular level of sphingosine-1-phosphate, and significant potentiation of its secretion. In turn, extracellular sphingosine-1-phosphate stimulates glioblastoma cell proliferation, and brain endothelial cells migration and angiogenesis. We also show that, after co-culture, glioblastoma cells exhibit enhanced expression of S1P1 and S1P3, the sphingosine-1-phosphate receptors that are of paramount importance for cell growth and invasivity. Collectively, our results envision glioblastoma-endothelial crosstalk as a multi-compartmental strategy to enforce pro-tumoral sphingosine-1-phosphate signaling in the glioblastoma microenvironment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1179-1192
Number of pages14
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2018



  • Brain endothelial cells
  • Glioblastoma cells
  • Sphingosine kinase 2
  • Sphingosine-1-phosphate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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