Selective Sphingosine 1-Phosphate Receptor 1 Agonist Is Protective Against Ischemia/Reperfusion in Mice
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Background and Purpose—Growing evidence supports that the immunomodulatory drug fingolimod is protective in stroke. Fingolimod binds to 4 of 5 sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptors and, among other actions, it induces lymphopenia. In this study, we investigated whether a selective S1P1 agonist is protective in experimental stroke.
Methods—Drug selectivity was studied in vitro in cells overexpressing the human S1P receptors. Mice (n=54) received different doses of LASW1238 (3 or 10 mg/kg), fingolimod (1 mg/kg), or the vehicle intraperitoneal, and lymphopenia was studied at different time points. After intraluminal middle cerebral artery occlusion for 45 minutes and immediately after reperfusion, mice (n=56) received the drug treatment. At 24 hours, a neurological test was performed and infarct volume was measured. Treatment and all the analyses were performed in a blind fashion.
Results—In vitro functional assays showed that LASW1238 is a selective agonist of the S1P1 receptor. At 10 mg/kg, this compound induced sustained lymphopenia in mice comparable with fingolimod, whereas at 3 mg/kg it induced short-lasting lymphopenia. After ischemia, both LASW1238 (10 mg/kg) and fingolimod reduced infarct volume, but only LASW1238 (10 mg/kg) showed statistically significant differences versus the vehicle. The neurological function and plasma cytokine levels were not different between groups.
Conclusions—The selective S1P1 agonist LASW1238 reduces infarct volume after ischemia/reperfusion in mice, but only when lymphopenia is sustained for at least 24 hours. S1P1 and lymphocytes are potential targets for drug treatment in stroke. Defining the best drug dosing regimens to control the extent and duration of lymphopenia is critical to achieve the desired effects.
- Received June 21, 2016.
- Revision received September 7, 2016.
- Accepted October 6, 2016.
- © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.