Vitamin D Attenuates Sphingosine-1-Phosphate (S1P)-Mediated Inhibition of Extravillous Trophoblast Migration

Melissa Westwood, Khiria Alsaghir, Sarah Finn-Sell, Cherlyn Tan, Elizabeth Cowley, Stéphane Berneau, Daman Adlam, Edward Johnstone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction Failure of trophoblast invasion and remodelling of maternal blood vessels leads to the pregnancy complication pre-eclampsia (PE). In other systems, the sphingolipid, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), controls cell migration therefore this study determined its effect on extravillous trophoblast (EVT) function. Methods A transwell migration system was used to assess the behaviour of three trophoblast cell lines, Swan-71, SGHPL-4, and JEG3, and primary human trophoblasts in the presence or absence of S1P, S1P pathway inhibitors and 1,25(OH)2D3. QPCR and immunolocalisation were used to demonstrate EVT S1P receptor expression. Results EVTs express S1P receptors 1, 2 and 3. S1P inhibited EVT migration. This effect was abolished in the presence of the specific S1PR2 inhibitor, JTE-013 (p < 0.05 versus S1P alone) whereas treatment with the S1R1/3 inhibitor, FTY720, had no effect. In other cell types S1PR2 is regulated by vitamin D; here we found that treatment with 1,25(OH)2D3 for 48 or 72 h reduces S1PR2 (4-fold; <0.05), but not R1 and R3, expression. Moreover, S1P did not inhibit the migration of cells exposed to 1,25(OH)2D3 (p < 0.05). Discussion This study demonstrates that although EVT express three S1P receptor isoforms, S1P predominantly signals through S1PR2/Gα12/13 to activate Rho and thereby acts as potent inhibitor of EVT migration. Importantly, expression of S1PR2, and therefore S1P function, can be down-regulated by vitamin D. Our data suggest that vitamin D deficiency, which is known to be associated with PE, may contribute to the impaired trophoblast migration that underlies this condition.
Original languageEnglish
Early online date30 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


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