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Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) is a potent bioactive sphingolipid binding to specific G protein-coupled receptors expressed in several organs. The relevance of S1P-S1P receptor axis in the pathophysiology of immune and nervous systems has encouraged the development of S1P receptor modulators for the treatment of neurological, autoimmune and/or inflammatory disorders. Currently, four S1P receptor modulators are approved drugs for multiple sclerosis (MS), an inflammatory disorder of the central nervous system. As main pharmacologic effect, these treatments induce lymphopenia due to the loss of responsiveness to S1P gradients guiding lymphocyte egress from lymphoid organs into the bloodstream. Recent data point to immunological effects of the S1P modulators beyond the inhibition of lymphocyte trafficking. Further, these drugs may cross the blood-brain barrier and directly target CNS resident cells expressing S1P receptors. Here we review the role of S1P signalling in neuroimmunology at the light of the evidences generated from the study of the mechanism of action of S1P receptor modulators in MS and integrate this information with findings derived from neuroinflammatory animal models and in vitro observations. These insights can direct the application of therapeutic approaches targeting S1P receptors in other disease areas. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Emanuela Colombo, Cinthia Farina. Lessons from S1P receptor targeting in multiple sclerosis. Pharmacology & therapeutics. 2022 Feb;230:107971

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PMID: 34450231

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