Increasing experimental evidence has demonstrated that sphingolipids are likely to have an important regulatory function in the cardiovascular system. Two sphingolipids released from activated platelets, and therefore of particular relevance, are S1P (sphingosine 1-phosphate) and SPC (sphingosylphosphocholine). Both S1P and SPC can act as vasoconstrictors and may modulate VSMC (vascular smooth muscle cell) phenotype, as observed during the pathogenesis of vascular disease. Recent research has suggested that SPC may act as a pro-inflammatory mediator in VSMCs and, in some circumstances, may also contribute to the development of vascular disease.

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