Blocking sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor 2 accelerates hepatocellular carcinoma progression in a mouse model of NASH

Tomoaki Yoshida, Atsunori Tsuchiya, Masaru Kumagai, Suguru Takeuchi, Shunsuke Nojiri, Takayuki Watanabe, Masahiro Ogawa, Michiko Itoh, Masaaki Takamura, Takayoshi Suganami, Yoshihiro Ogawa, Shuji Terai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The role of sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) and its sphingosine-1-phosphate receptors (S1PRs) in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is unclear. We aimed to analyze the role of S1P/S1PRs in a Melanocortin-4 receptor (Mc4r)-deficient NASH murine model using FTY720, the functional antagonist of S1PR1, S1PR3, S1PR4, and S1PR5, and JTE-013, the antagonist of S1PR2. We observed that, compared to that in the control, the mRNA of S1pr1 tended to decrease, whereas those of S1pr2 and S1pr3 significantly increased in Mc4r-knockout (KO) mice subjected to a Western diet (WD). While the fat area did not differ, fibrosis progression differed significantly between control mice and mice in which liver S1PRs were blocked. Lipidomic and metabolomic analysis of liver tissues showed that JTE-013-administered mice showed elevation of S-adenosyl-L-methionine level, which can induce aberrant methylation due to reduction in glycine N-methyltransferase (GNMT) and elevation in diacylglycerol (DG) and triacylglycerol (TG) levels, leading to increased susceptibility to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). These phenotypes are similar to those of Gnmt-KO mice, suggesting that blocking the S1P/S1PR2 axis triggers aberrant methylation, which may increase DG and TG, and hepatocarcinogenesis. Our observations that the S1P/S1PR2 axis averts HCC occurrence may assist in HCC prevention in NASH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-672
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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