Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Tomasz Kordula


Chronic inflammation in the brain results in the development of several CNS diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, multiple sclerosis, and tumors. IL-1, a pro-inflammatory cytokine released by activated microglia and astrocytes, instigates the expression of factors promoting the progression of these CNS disorders, including cytokines, chemokines, and components of matrix remodeling systems, such as the plasminogen activator system. IL-1 also increases the mRNA expression and activity of SphK, the enzyme that phosphorylates Sph to form S1P, a bio-active sphingolipid. This thesis demonstrates that IL-1 and S1P enhance the mRNA and protein expression of PAI-1 and uPAR, two key components of the plasminogen activator system, in glioblastoma cells. The S1P-induced mRNA expression of PAI-1 and uPAR is mediated by the S1P2 receptor, and requires Rho-kinase and MEK1. However, IL-1 regulation of PAI-1 and uPAR mRNA expression is independent of SphK, and thus S1P. IL-1- and S1P-induced mRNA expression of PAI-1 and uPAR results in the increased in vitro invasion of glioblastoma cells. Since significant amounts of IL-1 are secreted from gliomas, and it increases the production of S1P via inciting the activity and mRNA expression of SphK, we propose a mechanism by which S1P and IL-1 influence the invasion of glioblastoma cells by increasing the mRNA and protein expression of uPAR and PAI-1. IL-1 and S1P also influence the mRNA expression of chemokines implicated in the development and progression of multiple sclerosis, namely IP-10 and RANTES, in primary human astrocytes. IP-10 and RANTES attract T cells, which are the major pathological cause of multiple sclerosis. This thesis demonstrates a novel mechanism by which S1P significantly inhibits the IL-1-induced mRNA expression of these chemokines. The mechanism by which S1P reduces IL-1-induced IP-10 and RANTES mRNA expression involves the prolonged hyperphosphorylation of TAK1, as well as the inhibition of IL-1-stimulated IFN beta production and the phosphorylation of STAT1 and STAT2. In summary, this dissertation describes the mechanisms by which S1P and IL-1 control the mRNA expression of two chemokines associated with multiple sclerosis, and the components of the plasminogen activator system, which are critical for the invasion of glioblastoma cells; thus, indicating future therapeutic targets for destructive CNS disorders.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

April 2009