Sphingosine-1-phosphate pathway in renal fibrosis

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2018 Oct 1;315(4):F752-F756. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00596.2017. Epub 2018 Apr 4.


Renal fibrosis is defined as the excessive deposition and modification of extracellular matrix (ECM) in the renal parenchyma in response to injury and inflammation, resulting in renal function loss. This condition is common to many chronic kidney diseases occurring under diverse pathological conditions, such as diabetic and hypertensive nephropathy. Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is a bioactive sphingolipid metabolite involved in the regulation of cardiovascular functions and the pathogenesis of various cardiovascular diseases. S1P has also been considered an important regulator of fibrotic diseases, playing significant roles in the differentiation of fibroblasts to myofibroblasts and in the induction of inflammatory responses during the early stages of fibrotic diseases. This minireview summarizes recent research findings regarding the importance of the sphingosine kinase-1-S1P-S1P receptor axis and its interactions with other classic fibrotic signaling pathways and the immune inflammatory response to reveal novel therapeutic targets for the treatment or prevention of renal fibrosis.

Keywords: chronic kidney diseases; extracellular matrix; immune response; myofibroblasts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Fibrosis / metabolism*
  • Fibrosis / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Lysophospholipids / metabolism*
  • Myofibroblasts / metabolism*
  • Sphingosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Sphingosine / metabolism


  • Lysophospholipids
  • sphingosine 1-phosphate
  • Sphingosine