Murine platelet production is suppressed by S1P release in the hematopoietic niche, not facilitated by blood S1P sensing

Blood Adv. 2019 Jun 11;3(11):1702-1713. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2019031948.


The bioactive lipid mediator sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) was recently assigned critical roles in platelet biology: whereas S1P1 receptor-mediated S1P gradient sensing was reported to be essential for directing proplatelet extensions from megakaryocytes (MKs) toward bone marrow sinusoids, MK sphingosine kinase 2 (Sphk2)-derived S1P was reported to further promote platelet shedding through receptor-independent intracellular actions, and platelet aggregation through S1P1 Yet clinical use of S1P pathway modulators including fingolimod has not been associated with risk of bleeding or thrombosis. We therefore revisited the role of S1P in platelet biology in mice. Surprisingly, no reduction in platelet counts was observed when the vascular S1P gradient was ablated by impairing S1P provision to plasma or S1P degradation in interstitial fluids, nor when gradient sensing was impaired by S1pr1 deletion selectively in MKs. Moreover, S1P1 expression and signaling were both undetectable in mature MKs in situ, and MK S1pr1 deletion did not affect platelet aggregation or spreading. When S1pr1 deletion was induced in hematopoietic progenitor cells, platelet counts were instead significantly elevated. Isolated global Sphk2 deficiency was associated with thrombocytopenia, but this was not replicated by MK-restricted Sphk2 deletion and was reversed by compound deletion of either Sphk1 or S1pr2, suggesting that this phenotype arises from increased S1P export and S1P2 activation secondary to redistribution of sphingosine to Sphk1. Consistent with clinical observations, we thus observe no essential role for S1P1 in facilitating platelet production or activation. Instead, S1P restricts megakaryopoiesis through S1P1, and can further suppress thrombopoiesis through S1P2 when aberrantly secreted in the hematopoietic niche.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Platelets / cytology
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism*
  • Lysophospholipids / genetics
  • Lysophospholipids / metabolism*
  • Megakaryocytes / cytology
  • Megakaryocytes / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Sphingosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Sphingosine / genetics
  • Sphingosine / metabolism
  • Sphingosine-1-Phosphate Receptors / genetics
  • Sphingosine-1-Phosphate Receptors / metabolism
  • Stem Cell Niche*
  • Thrombopoiesis*


  • Lysophospholipids
  • S1pr1 protein, mouse
  • Sphingosine-1-Phosphate Receptors
  • sphingosine 1-phosphate
  • Sphingosine