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Acid sphingomyelinase promotes endothelial stress response in systemic inflammation and sepsis

: Chung, H.-Y.; Hupe, D.C.; Otto, G.P.; Sprenger, M.; Bunck, A.C.; Dorer, M.J.; Bockmeyer, C.L.; Deigner, H.-P.; Gräler, M.H.; Claus, R.A.


Molecular medicine : Official journal of the Molecular Medicine Society 22 (2016), S.412-423
ISSN: 1076-1551 (Print)
ISSN: 1528-3658 (online)
Fraunhofer IZI ()

The pathophysiology of sepsis involves activation of acid sphingomyelinase (SMPD1) with subsequent generation of the bioactive mediator ceramide. We herein evaluate the hypothesis that the enzyme exerts biological effects in endothelial stress response. Plasma-secreted sphingomyelinase activity, ceramide generation and lipid raft formation were measured in human microcirculatory endothelial cells (HMEC-1) stimulated with serum obtained from sepsis patients. Clustering of receptors relevant for signal transduction was studied by immunostaining. The role of SMPD1 for macrodomain formation was tested by pharmacological inhibition. To confirm the involvement of the stress enzyme, direct inhibitors (amino bisphosphonates) and specific downregulation of the gene was tested with respect to ADAMTS13 expression and cytotoxicity. Plasma activity and amount of SMPD1 were increased in septic patients dependent on clinical severity.