Lysophosphatidic Acid and Sphingosine-1-Phosphate: A Concise Review of Biological Function and Applications for Tissue Engineering

Bernard Y K Binder, Priscilla A. Williams, Eduardo Silva, Jonathan K Leach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The presentation and controlled release of bioactive signals to direct cellular growth and differentiation represents a widely used strategy in tissue engineering. Historically, work in this field has primarily focused on the delivery of large cytokines and growth factors, which can be costly to manufacture and difficult to deliver in a sustained manner. There has been a marked increase over the past decade in the pursuit of lipid mediators due to their wide range of effects over multiple cell types, low cost, and ease of scale-up. Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) and sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) are two bioactive lysophospholipids (LPLs) that have gained attention for use as pharmacological agents in tissue engineering applications. While these lipids can have similar effects on cellular response, they possess distinct chemical backbones, mechanisms of synthesis and degradation, and signaling pathways using a discrete set of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). LPA and S1P predominantly act extracellularly on their GPCRs and can directly regulate cell survival, differentiation, cytokine secretion, proliferation, and migration-each of the important functions that must be considered in regenerative medicine. In addition to these potent physiological functions, these LPLs play pivotal roles in a number of pathophysiological processes. To capitalize on the promise of these molecules in tissue engineering, these lipids have been incorporated into biomaterials for in vivo delivery. Here, we survey the effects of LPA and S1P on both cellular-and tissue-level phenotypes, with an eye toward regulating stem/progenitor cell growth and differentiation. In particular, we examine work that has translational applications for cell-based tissue engineering strategies in promoting cell survival, bone and cartilage engineering, and therapeutic angiogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-542
Number of pages12
JournalTissue Engineering - Part B: Reviews
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry


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