Sphingosine 1-phosphate receptors regulate TLR4-induced CXCL5 release from astrocytes and microglia

J Neurochem. 2018 Mar;144(6):736-747. doi: 10.1111/jnc.14313. Epub 2018 Feb 21.


Sphingosine 1-phosphate receptors (S1PR) are G protein-coupled and compose a family with five subtypes, S1P1R-S1P5R. The drug Gilenya® (Novartis, Basel, Switzerland) (Fingolimod; FTY720) targets S1PRs and was the first oral therapy for patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS). The phosphorylated form of FTY720 (pFTY720) binds S1PRs causing initial agonism, then subsequent receptor internalization and functional antagonism. Internalization of S1P1R attenuates sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P)-mediated egress of lymphocytes from lymph nodes, limiting aberrant immune function in MS. pFTY720 also exerts direct actions on neurons and glial cells which express S1PRs. In this study, we investigated the regulation of pro-inflammatory chemokine release by S1PRs in enriched astrocytes and microglial cultures. Astrocytes and microglia were stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and increases in C-X-C motif chemokine 5 (CXCL5), also known as LIX (lipopolysaccharide-induced CXC chemokine) expression were quantified. Results showed that pFTY720 attenuated LPS-induced CXCL5 (LIX) protein release from astrocytes, as did the S1P1R selective agonist, SEW2871. In addition, pFTY720 blocked messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) transcription of the chemokines, (i) CXCL5/LIX, (ii) C-X-C motif chemokine 10 (CXCL10) also known as interferon gamma-induced protein 10 (IP10) and (iii) chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2) also known as monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP1). Interestingly, inhibition of sphingosine kinase attenuated LPS-induced increases in mRNA levels of all three chemokines, suggesting that LPS-TLR4 (Toll-like receptor 4) signalling may enhance chemokine expression via S1P-S1PR transactivation. Lastly, these observations were not limited to astrocytes since we also found that pFTY720 attenuated LPS-induced release of CXCL5 from microglia. These data highlight a role for S1PR signalling in regulating the levels of chemokines in glial cells and support the notion that pFTY720 efficacy in multiple sclerosis may involve the direct modulation of astrocytes and microglia.

Keywords: CXCL5; FTY720; astrocyte; chemokine; microglia; sphingosine 1-phosphate; toll-like receptor 4.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / drug effects
  • Astrocytes / metabolism*
  • Chemokine CXCL5 / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Fingolimod Hydrochloride / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Lipopolysaccharides / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microglia / drug effects
  • Microglia / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Lysosphingolipid / agonists
  • Receptors, Lysosphingolipid / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4 / metabolism*


  • Chemokine CXCL5
  • Cxcl5 protein, mouse
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Lysosphingolipid
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4
  • Fingolimod Hydrochloride