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1 January 2006 Sphingosine-1-Phosphate Acts via Rho-Associated Kinase and Nitric Oxide to Regulate Human Placental Vascular Tone
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Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), a bioactive lipid released from activated platelets, has been demonstrated in animal models to regulate vascular tone through receptor-mediated activation of Rho-associated kinase 1 and nitric oxide synthase 3. The role of S1P in regulation of human vascular tone (particularly during pregnancy, with its unique vascular adaptations and localized platelet activation) is unknown. We hypothesized that S1P would constrict small placental arteries through activation of Rho-associated kinases with modulation by nitric oxide. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction of chorionic plate artery preparations detected mRNAs encoding all five receptors for S1P, and S1P induced dose-dependent vasoconstriction of both chorionic plate and stem villous isobarically mounted arteries, which at 10 μmol/L was 32.9% ± 3.86% (mean ± SEM) and 34.6% ± 7.01%, respectively. In stem villous arteries, S1P-induced vasoconstriction was enhanced significantly following inhibition of nitric oxide synthases with NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (100 μmol/L, 52.6% ± 6.28%, P < 0.05). The S1P-induced vasoconstriction was reversed by Y27632, an inhibitor of Rho-associated kinases (10 μmol/L) in both chorionic plate (to 14.9% ± 4.95%) and stem villous arteries (to 2.71% ± 6.13%). The S1P added to alpha-toxin-permeabilized, isometrically mounted chorionic plate arteries bathed in submaximal Ca2 -activating solution induced Ca2 -sensitization of constriction, which was 47.7% ± 10.0% of that occurring to maximal Ca2 -activating solution. This was reduced by Y27632 to 18.4% ± 18.4%. Interestingly, S1P-induced vasoconstriction occurred in all isobarically mounted arteries but was inconsistent in isometrically mounted chorionic plate arteries. In summary, S1P-induced vasoconstriction in human placental arteries is mediated by increased Ca2 -sensitization through activation of Rho-associated kinases, and this vasoconstriction also is modulated by nitric oxide. Identification of these actions of S1P in the placental vasculature is important for understanding both normal and potentially abnormal vascular adaptations with pregnancy.

Denise G. Hemmings, Nicola K. Hudson, Deborah Halliday, Maureen O'Hara, Philip N. Baker, Sandra T. Davidge, and Michael J. Taggart "Sphingosine-1-Phosphate Acts via Rho-Associated Kinase and Nitric Oxide to Regulate Human Placental Vascular Tone," Biology of Reproduction 74(1), 88-94, (1 January 2006).
Received: 20 April 2005; Accepted: 1 September 2005; Published: 1 January 2006

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