Dysregulation of sphingolipid metabolism contributes to bortezomib-induced neuropathic pain

Katherine Stockstill, Timothy M. Doyle, Xisheng Yan, Zhoumou Chen, Kali Janes, Joshua W. Little, Kathryn Braden, Filomena Lauro, Luigino Antonio Giancotti, Caron Mitsue Harada, Ruchi Yadav, Wen Hua Xiao, Jack M. Lionberger, William L. Neumann, Gary J. Bennett, Han-Rong Weng, Sarah Spiegel, Daniela Salvemini. Journal of Experimental Medicine, Volume 215, Issue 5, 1 May 2018, Pages 1301-1313 Read More


The development of chemotherapy-induced painful peripheral neuropathy is a major dose-limiting side effect of many chemotherapeutics, including bortezomib, but the mechanisms remain poorly understood. We now report that bortezomib causes the dysregulation of de novo sphingolipid metabolism in the spinal cord dorsal horn to increase the levels of sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptor 1 (S1PR1) ligands, S1P and dihydro-S1P. Accordingly, genetic and pharmacological disruption of S1PR1 with multiple S1PR1 antagonists, including FTY720, blocked and reversed neuropathic pain. Mice with astrocyte-specific alterations of S1pr1 did not develop neuropathic pain and lost their ability to respond to S1PR1 inhibition, strongly implicating astrocytes as a primary cellular substrate for S1PR1 activity. At the molecular level, S1PR1 engaged astrocyte-driven neuroinflammation and altered glutamatergic homeostasis, processes blocked by S1PR1 antagonism. Our findings establish S1PR1 as a target for therapeutic intervention and provide insight into cellular and molecular pathways. As FTY720 also shows promising anticancer potential and is FDA approved, rapid clinical translation of our findings is anticipated. © 2018 Stockstill et al.

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Posted on May 18, 2018
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