Rewiring Endothelial Sphingolipid Metabolism to Favor S1P Over Ceramide Protects From Coronary Atherosclerosis.

TitleRewiring Endothelial Sphingolipid Metabolism to Favor S1P Over Ceramide Protects From Coronary Atherosclerosis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2024
AuthorsManzo OLaura, Nour J, Sasset L, Marino A, Rubinelli L, Palikhe S, Smimmo M, Hu Y, Bucci MRosaria, Borczuk A, Elemento O, Freed JK, Norata GDanilo, Di Lorenzo A
JournalCirc Res
Date Published2024 Mar 08

BACKGROUND: Growing evidence correlated changes in bioactive sphingolipids, particularly S1P (sphingosine-1-phosphate) and ceramides, with coronary artery diseases. Furthermore, specific plasma ceramide species can predict major cardiovascular events. Dysfunction of the endothelium lining lesion-prone areas plays a pivotal role in atherosclerosis. Yet, how sphingolipid metabolism and signaling change and contribute to endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis remain poorly understood.

METHODS: We used an established model of coronary atherosclerosis in mice, combined with sphingolipidomics, RNA-sequencing, flow cytometry, and immunostaining to investigate the contribution of sphingolipid metabolism and signaling to endothelial cell (EC) activation and dysfunction.

RESULTS: We demonstrated that hemodynamic stress induced an early metabolic rewiring towards endothelial sphingolipid de novo biosynthesis, favoring S1P signaling over ceramides as a protective response. This finding is a paradigm shift from the current belief that ceramide accrual contributes to endothelial dysfunction. The enzyme SPT (serine palmitoyltransferase) commences de novo biosynthesis of sphingolipids and is inhibited by NOGO-B, an ER membrane protein. Here, we showed that NOGO-B is upregulated by hemodynamic stress in myocardial EC of ApoE-/- mice and is expressed in the endothelium lining coronary lesions in mice and humans. We demonstrated that mice lacking NOGO-B specifically in EC (Nogo-A/BECKOApoE-/-) were resistant to coronary atherosclerosis development and progression, and mortality. Fibrous cap thickness was significantly increased in Nogo-A/BECKOApoE-/- mice and correlated with reduced necrotic core and macrophage infiltration. Mechanistically, the deletion of NOGO-B in EC sustained the rewiring of sphingolipid metabolism towards S1P, imparting an atheroprotective endothelial transcriptional signature.

CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrated that hemodynamic stress induced a protective rewiring of sphingolipid metabolism, favoring S1P over ceramide. NOGO-B deletion sustained the rewiring of sphingolipid metabolism toward S1P protecting EC from activation under hemodynamic stress and refraining coronary atherosclerosis. These findings also set forth the foundation for sphingolipid-based therapeutics to limit atheroprogression.

Alternate JournalCirc Res
PubMed ID38456287
Grant ListK08 HL141562 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
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Annarita Di Lorenzo, Ph.D.

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