Recent evidence suggests that an extreme shift may occur in sphingosine metabolism in neuroinflammatory contexts. Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P)-metabolizing enzymes (SMEs) regulate the level of S1P. We recently found that FTY720, a S1P analogue, and SEW2871, a selective S1P receptor 1 (S1P1) agonist, provide protection against neural damage and memory deficit in amyloid beta (Aβ)-injected animals. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of these two analogues on the expression of SMEs as well as their anti-inflammatory roles.
Rats were treated with intracerebral lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or Aβ. Memory impairment was assessed by Morris water maze and the effects of drugs on SMEs as well as inflammatory markers, TNF- α and COX-II, were determined by immunoblotting.
Aβ and LPS differentially altered the expression profile of SMEs. In Aβ-injected animals, FTY720 and SEW2871 treatments exerted anti-inflammatory effects and restored the expression profile of SMEs, in parallel to our previous findings. In LPS animals however, in spite of anti-inflammatory effects of the two analogues, only FTY720 restored the levels of SMEs and prevented memory deficit.
Conclusion: The observed ameliorating effects of FTY720 and SEW7821 can be partly attributed to the interruption of the vicious cycle of abnormal S1P metabolism and neuro-inflammation. The close imitation of the FTY720 effects by SW2871 in Aβ-induced neuro-inflammation may highlight the attractive role of S1P1 as a potential target to restore S1P metabolism and inhibit inflammatory processes.