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Partial deficiency of sphingosine-1-phosphate lyase confers protection in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Billich, Andreas, Baumruker, Thomas, Beerli, Christian, Bigaud, Marc, Bruns, Christian, Calzascia, Thomas, Isken, Andrea, Kinzel, Bernd, Loetscher, Erika, Metzler, Barbara, Mueller, Matthias, Nuesslein-Hildesheim, Barbara and Kleylein-Sohn, Bernadette (2013) Partial deficiency of sphingosine-1-phosphate lyase confers protection in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. PLOS ONE, 8 (3). e59630. ISSN 1932-6203


Background: Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) regulates the egress of T cells from lymphoid organs; levels of S1P in the tissues are controlled by S1P lyase (Sgpl1). Hence, Sgpl1 offers a target to block T cell-dependent inflammatory processes. However, the involvement of Sgpl1 in models of disease has not been fully elucidated yet, since Sgpl1 KO mice have a short life-span.
Methodology: We generated inducible Sgpl1 KO mice featuring partial reduction of Sgpl1 activity and analyzed them with respect to sphingolipid levels, T-cell distribution, and response in models of inflammation.
Principal Findings: The partially Sgpl1 deficient mice are viable but feature profound reduction of peripheral T cells, similar to the constitutive KO mice. While thymic T cell development in these mice appears normal, mature T cells are retained in thymus and lymph nodes, leading to reduced T cell numbers in spleen and blood, with a skewing towards increased proportions of memory T cells and T regulatory cells. The therapeutic relevance of Sgpl1 is demonstrated by the fact that the inducible KO mice are protected in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). T cell immigration into the CNS was found to be profoundly reduced. Since S1P levels in the brain of the animals are unchanged, we conclude that protection in EAE is due to the peripheral effect on T cells, leading to reduced CNS immigration, rather than on local effects in the CNS.
Significance: The data suggest Sgpl1 as a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Item Type: Article
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2015 13:14
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2015 13:14