Sphingosine kinase functionally links elevated transmural pressure and increased reactive oxygen species formation in resistance arteries

FASEB J. 2006 Apr;20(6):702-4. doi: 10.1096/fj.05-4075fje. Epub 2006 Feb 13.


Myogenic vasoconstriction, an intrinsic response to elevated transmural pressure (TMP), requires the activation of sphingosine kinase (Sk1) and the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). We hypothesized that pressure-induced Sk1 signaling and ROS generation are functionally linked. Using a model of cannulated resistance arteries isolated from the hamster gracilis muscle, we monitored vessel diameter and smooth muscle cell (SMC) Ca2+i (Fura-2) or ROS production (dichlorodihydrofluorescein). Elevation of TMP stimulated the translocation of a GFP-tagged Sk1 fusion protein from the cytosol to the plasma membrane, indicative of enzymatic activation. Concurrently, elevation of TMP initiated a rapid and transient production of ROS, which was enhanced by expression of wild-type Sk1 (hSk(wt)) and inhibited by its dominant-negative mutant (hSk(G82D)). Exogenous sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) also stimulated ROS generation is isolated vessels. Chemical (1 micromol/L DPI), peptide (gp91ds-tat/gp91ds), and genetic (N17Rac) inhibition strategies indicated that NADPH oxidase was the source of the pressure-induced ROS. NADPH oxidase inhibition attenuated myogenic vasoconstriction and reduced the apparent Ca2+ sensitivity of the SMC contractile apparatus, without affecting Ca2+-independent, RhoA-mediated vasoconstriction in response to exogenous S1P. Our results indicate a mandatory role for Sk1/S1P in mediating pressure-induced, NADPH oxidase-derived ROS formation. In turn, ROS generation appears to increase Ca2+ sensitivity, necessary for full myogenic vasoconstriction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arteries / enzymology*
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Lysophospholipids / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Muscle, Skeletal / blood supply
  • NADPH Oxidases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • NADPH Oxidases / metabolism
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor) / metabolism*
  • Pressure
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Sphingosine / analogs & derivatives
  • Sphingosine / metabolism
  • Vasoconstriction / physiology


  • Lysophospholipids
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • sphingosine 1-phosphate
  • NADPH Oxidases
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor)
  • sphingosine kinase
  • Sphingosine
  • Calcium