Sphingosine-1-phosphate: a potential therapeutic target for rheumatoid arthritis
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- Hu, P., Chen, Y., Cai, P. et al. Mol Biol Rep (2011) 38: 4225. doi:10.1007/s11033-010-0545-9
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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic autoimmune disease, which has as its primary target, the synovial tissues and articular cartilage. The current pharmacological treatment of RA includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, and disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. Newer biological agents that work by inactivation of proinflammatory cytokines are available for treatment of RA. Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is a bioactive lipid that is generated from phosphorylation of sphingosine by activation of sphingosine kinase, and has been implicated as an important mediator in pathophysiological processes, including cell growth, differentiation, migration and survival, and angiogenesis. Several studies have explored the role of S1P in the pathogenesis of RA. The aim of this article was to review the biology and distribution of S1P, together with its role in RA, and to discuss its potential as a therapeutic target for RA.