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Current Pharmaceutical Design


ISSN (Print): 1381-6128
ISSN (Online): 1873-4286

Lysophospholipid Receptors as Potential Drug Targets in Tissue Transplantation and Autoimmune Diseases

Author(s): Jerold Chun and Hugh Rosen

Volume 12 , Issue 2 , 2006

Page: [161 - 171] Pages: 11

DOI: 10.2174/138161206775193109

Price: $65


New therapies directed at ameliorating or altering autoimmune diseases represent an area of significant medical need. Included amongst autoimmune diseases are problems related to transplantation rejection, as well as a number of neurological diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS). A new group of molecular targets that may lead to novel therapies are lysophospholipid (LP) receptors. A large range of biological activities has been attributed to the actions of these simple phospholipids that include well-studied members lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) and sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P). Documented cellular effects of these lipid molecules encompass growth-factor-like influences on cells, including but not limited to survival, migration, adhesion differentiation, as well as pathophysiological actions associated with cancer. In turn, these cellular effects have roles in developing and adult organ systems such as the nervous system, cardiovascular system, reproductive system and, of relevance here, the immune system. The mechanisms for these actions can be attributed to a growing family of cognate, 7-transmembrane G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), with documented validation through studies utilizing pharmacology, molecular genetics and an enlarging repertoire of chemical tools having agonist or antagonist properties. The growing literature on immunological effects of LP receptors, particularly those mediating the effects of S1P, has suggested possible therapeutic roles for this class of receptors. In particular, entry into humans of a non-selective S1P receptor agonist, FTY720, for kidney transplantation and possibly other indications (e.g., Multiple Sclerosis), has raised prospects for efficacious treatment of human diseases based on LP receptor targets. Here we provide a brief introduction to receptor-mediated lysophospholipid signaling and discuss its basic and potential therapeutic roles in autoimmune-related diseases.

Keywords: Lysophosphatidic acid, lysophosphatidylcholine, sphingosine 1-phosphate, sphingosylphosphorylcholine, G protein-coupled receptor, LPA, S1P, lymphocyte, FTY720

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