Divergent roles of sphingosine kinases in kidney ischemia-reperfusion injury

Sang Kyung Jo, Amandeep Bajwa, Hong Ye, Amy L. Vergis, Alaa S. Awad, Yugesh Kharel, Kevin R. Lynch, Mark D. Okusa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), produced by sphingosine kinase 1 (SphK1) or kinase 2 (SphK2), mediates biological effects through intracellular and/or extracellular mechanisms. Here we determined a role for these kinases in kidney injury of wild-type mice following ischemia-reperfusion. SphK1 but not SphK2 mRNA expression and activity increased in the kidney following injury relative to sham-operated animals. Although SphK1-/- mice had no alteration in renal function following injury, mice with a disrupted SphK2 gene (SphK2 tr/tr) had histological damage and impaired function. The immune-modulating pro-drug, FTY720, an S1P agonist failed to provide protection in SphK2tr/tr mice. Injured kidneys of these mice showed increased neutrophil infiltration and neutrophil chemokine expression along with a 3- to 5-fold increase in expression of the G-protein-coupled receptor S1P3 compared to heterozygous SphK2+/tr mice. Kidney function and reduced vascular permeability were preserved in S1P3-/- compared to S1P3+/- mice after ischemia-reperfusion injury, suggesting increased S1P3 mRNA may play a role in the injury of SphK2tr/tr mice. Our study suggests that constitutive expression of SphK2 may contribute to reduced ischemia-reperfusion injury of the kidney, and its absence may enhance injury due to increased neutrophil infiltration and S1P3 activation. We also confirm that SphK2 is necessary to mediate the protective effects of FTY720.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-175
Number of pages9
JournalKidney International
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nephrology


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