Targeting the S1P/S1PR1 axis mitigates cancer-induced bone pain and neuroinflammation

Shaness A. Grenald, Timothy M. Doyle, Hong Zhang, Lauren M. Slosky, Zhoumou Chen, Tally M. Largent-Milnes, Sarah Spiegel, Todd W. Vanderah, Daniela Salvemini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Metastatic bone pain is the single most common form of cancer pain and persists as a result of peripheral and central inflammatory, as well as neuropathic mechanisms. Here, we provide the first characterization of sphingolipid metabolism alterations in the spinal cord occurring during cancer-induced bone pain (CIBP). Following femoral arthrotomy and syngenic tumor implantation in mice, ceramides decreased with corresponding increases in sphingosine and the bioactive sphingolipid metabolite, sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P). Intriguingly, de novo sphingolipid biosynthesis was increased as shown by the elevations of dihydro-ceramides and dihydro-S1P. We next identified the S1P receptor subtype 1 (S1PR1) as a novel target for therapeutic intervention. Intrathecal or systemic administration of the competitive and functional S1PR1 antagonists, TASP0277308 and FTY720/Fingolimod, respectively, attenuated cancer-induced spontaneous flinching and guarding. Inhibiting CIBP by systemic delivery of FTY720 did not result in antinociceptive tolerance over 7 days. FTY720 administration enhanced IL-10 in the lumbar ipsilateral spinal cord of CIBP animals and intrathecal injection of an IL-10 neutralizing antibody mitigated the ability of systemic FTY720 to reverse CIBP. FTY720 treatment was not associated with alterations in bone metabolism in vivo. Studies here identify a novel mechanism to inhibit bone cancer pain by blocking the actions of the bioactive metabolites S1P and dihydro-S1P in lumbar spinal cord induced by bone cancer and support potential fast-track clinical application of the FDA-approved drug, FTY720, as a therapeutic avenue for CIBP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1733-1742
Number of pages10
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • FTY720
  • IL-10
  • S1PR1 antagonists
  • TASP0277308

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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