Endothelial nitric oxide synthase activation by tumor necrosis factor α through neutral sphingomyelinase 2, sphingosine kinase 1, and sphingosine 1 phosphate receptors: A novel pathway relevant to the pathophysiology of endothelium

Clara De Palma, Elisabetta Meacci, Cristiana Perrotta, Paola Bruni, Emilio Clementi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective - Tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), a key proinflammatory cytokine acting on the endothelium, activates endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). We have examined the signaling pathway leading to this activation and its biological role in endothelium, which are still unknown. Methods and Results - In human endothelial cells, we found that eNOS activation by TNF-α is time dependent and requires activation of Akt, a known eNOS activator. eNOS activation was preceded by sequential activation of neutral-sphingomyelinase-2 (N-SMase2) and sphingosine-kinase-1 (SK1) and generation of sphingosine-1-phosphate (Sph1P). Inhibition of N-SMase2 inhibited Sph1P formation, whereas inhibition of SK1 did not affect N-SMase2 activation by TNF-α. Blockade of N-SMase2, SK1, or the Sph1P receptors S1P1 and S1P3, either by silencing or pharmacological inhibitors, prevented eNOS activation. Thus, eNOS is activated by TNF-α via S1P receptors, activated by Sph1P generated through N-SMase2 and SK1 activation. We found that nitric oxide generated through this pathway has a biological role, because it inhibits the expression of E-selectin and the adhesion of dendritic cells to the endothelium stimulated by TNF-α. Conclusions - This study establishes a previously undescribed link among TNF-α, Sph1P, and eNOS in a same signaling pathway of biological relevance in the process of endothelial cell activation by TNF-α.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-105
Number of pages7
JournalArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006

Keywords

  • Endothelial NO synthase
  • Neutral sphingomyelinase 2
  • Sphingosine 1 phosphate
  • Sphingosine kinase 1
  • TNF-α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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