S1P Stimulates Erythropoietin Production in Mouse Renal Interstitial Fibroblasts by S1P1 and S1P3 Receptor Activation and HIF-2α Stabilization.

Hafizi, Redona; Imeri, Faik; Wenger, Roland H.; Huwiler, Andrea (2021). S1P Stimulates Erythropoietin Production in Mouse Renal Interstitial Fibroblasts by S1P1 and S1P3 Receptor Activation and HIF-2α Stabilization. International journal of molecular sciences, 22(17) MDPI 10.3390/ijms22179467

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Erythropoietin (Epo) is the critical hormone for erythropoiesis. In adults, Epo is mainly produced by a subset of interstitial fibroblasts in the kidney, with minor amounts being produced in the liver and the brain. In this study, we used the immortalized renal interstitial fibroblast cell line FAIK F3-5 to investigate the ability of the bioactive sphingolipid sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) to stimulate Epo production and to reveal the mechanism involved. Stimulation of cells with exogenous S1P under normoxic conditions (21% O2) led to a dose-dependent increase in Epo mRNA and protein levels and subsequent release of Epo into the medium. S1P also enhanced the stabilization of HIF-2α, a key transcription factor for Epo expression. S1P-stimulated Epo mRNA and protein expression was abolished by HIF-2α mRNA knockdown or by the HIF-2 inhibitor compound 2. Furthermore, the approved S1P receptor modulator FTY720, and its active form FTY720-phosphate, both exerted a similar effect on Epo expression as S1P. The effect of S1P on Epo was antagonized by the selective S1P1 and S1P3 antagonists NIBR-0213 and TY-52156, but not by the S1P2 antagonist JTE-013. Moreover, inhibitors of the classical MAPK/ERK, the p38-MAPK, and inhibitors of protein kinase (PK) C and D all blocked the effect of S1P on Epo expression. Finally, the S1P and FTY720 effects were recapitulated in the Epo-producing human neuroblastoma cell line Kelly, suggesting that S1P receptor-dependent Epo synthesis is of general relevance and not species-specific. In summary, these data suggest that, in renal interstitial fibroblasts, which are the primary source of plasma Epo, S1P1 and 3 receptor activation upregulates Epo under normoxic conditions. This may have a therapeutic impact on disease situations such as chronic kidney disease, where Epo production is impaired, causing anemia, but it may also have therapeutic value as Epo can mediate additional tissue-protective effects in various organs.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Pharmacology

UniBE Contributor:

Hafizi, Redona; Imeri, Faik and Huwiler, Andrea


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Celine Joray

Date Deposited:

29 Sep 2021 12:42

Last Modified:

30 Sep 2021 01:35

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

S1P receptors erythropoietin fingolimod hypoxia protein kinase C renal interstitial fibroblasts sphingosine 1-phosphate





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