Sphingosine 1-phosphate induces antimicrobial activity both in vitro and in vivo

Sanjay K. Garg, Elisabetta Volpe, Graziana Palmieri, Maurizio Mattei, Domenico Galati, Angelo Martino, Maria S. Piccioni, Emanuela Valente, Elena Bonanno, Paolo De Vito, Patrizia M. Baldini, Luigi G. Spagnoli, Vittorio Colizzi, Maurizio Fraziano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), a polar sphingolipid metabolite, is involved in a wide spectrum of biological processes, including Ca++ mobilization, cell growth, differentiation, motility, and cytoskeleton organization. Here, we show a novel role of S1P in the induction of antimicrobial activity in human macrophages that leads to the intracellular killing of nonpathogenic Mycobacterium smegmatis and pathogenic M. tuberculosis. Such activity is mediated by host phospholipase D, which favors the acidification of mycobacteria-containing phagosomes. Moreover, when it was intravenously injected in mycobacteria-infected mice, S1P reduced mycobacterial growth and pulmonary tissue damage. These results identify S1P as a novel regulator of the host antimicrobial effector pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2129-2138
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Immunology


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