We recently discovered that endothelial Nogo-B, a membrane protein of the ER, regulates vascular function by inhibiting the rate-limiting enzyme, serine palmitoyltransferase (SPT), in de novo sphingolipid biosynthesis. Here, we show that endothelium-derived sphingolipids, particularly sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), protect the heart from inflammation, fibrosis, and dysfunction following pressure overload and that Nogo-B regulates this paracrine process. SPT activity is upregulated in banded hearts in vivo as well as in TNF-α–activated endothelium in vitro, and loss of Nogo removes the brake on SPT, increasing local S1P production. Hence, mice lacking Nogo-B, systemically or specifically in the endothelium, are resistant to the onset of pathological cardiac hypertrophy. Furthermore, pharmacological inhibition of SPT with myriocin restores permeability, inflammation, and heart dysfunction in Nogo-A/B–deficient mice to WT levels, whereas SEW2871, an S1P1 receptor agonist, prevents myocardial permeability, inflammation, and dysfunction in WT banded mice. Our study identifies a critical role of endothelial sphingolipid biosynthesis and its regulation by Nogo-B in the development of pathological cardiac hypertrophy and proposes a potential therapeutic target for the attenuation or reversal of this clinical condition.
Yi Zhang, Yan Huang, Anna Cantalupo, Paula S. Azevedo, Mauro Siragusa, Jacek Bielawski, Frank J. Giordano, Annarita Di Lorenzo