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Alteration of Lymphocyte Trafficking by Sphingosine-1-Phosphate Receptor Agonists

Science  12 Apr 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5566, pp. 346-349
DOI: 10.1126/science.1070238

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Abstract

Blood lymphocyte numbers, essential for the development of efficient immune responses, are maintained by recirculation through secondary lymphoid organs. We show that lymphocyte trafficking is altered by the lysophospholipid sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) and by a phosphoryl metabolite of the immunosuppressive agent FTY720. Both species were high-affinity agonists of at least four of the five S1P receptors. These agonists produce lymphopenia in blood and thoracic duct lymph by sequestration of lymphocytes in lymph nodes, but not spleen. S1P receptor agonists induced emptying of lymphoid sinuses by retention of lymphocytes on the abluminal side of sinus-lining endothelium and inhibition of egress into lymph. Inhibition of lymphocyte recirculation by activation of S1P receptors may result in therapeutically useful immunosuppression.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: hugh_rosen{at}merck.com

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