Growth-dependent regulation of cellular ceramides in human T-cells.
The role of ceramide, a putative lipid second messenger in the regulation of cell growth, was investigated in T-lymphocytes. An inverse relationship between the cellular concentrations of ceramide and the proliferative capacity of human T-lymphocytes was observed for cells treated with either interleukin-2 or phorbol ester plus ionomycin. The same relationship between cellular ceramide concentrations and DNA synthesis also was observed for cells derived from a cultured T-cell line, the Jurkat T-cells. Alternative approaches for modulating the cellular ceramide concentrations were employed to determine the relationship between sphingolipids and cell growth. Treatment of normal T-lymphocyte cultures with exogenous cell-permeable ceramide analogues or sphingosine stereoisomers decreased DNA synthesis. A similar effect was seen with stearylamine. Cells treated with D,L-threo-1-phenyl-2-decanoylamino-3-morpholino-1-propanol, an inhibitor of UDP-glucosyl:ceramide transferase, accumulated cellular ceramide concentrations and had decreased DNA synthesis. These results define a correlation between the concentration of cellular ceramides and the capacity of T-lymphocytes to proliferate. However, the addition of bacterial sphingomyelinase to the T-cell medium caused an increase in ceramide concentrations (presumably at the plasma membrane), which did not affect cell growth. These results support the hypothesis that functionally distinct pools of ceramide may reside within the T-cell.
Borchardt, RA; Lee, WT; Kalen, A; Buckley, RH; Peters, C; Schiff, S; Bell, RM
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