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SPNS2 enables Tcell egress from lymph nodes during an immune response

Okuniewska, M;Fang, V;Baeyens, A;Raghavan, V;Lee, JY;Littman, DR;Schwab, SR;

T cell expression of sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor 1 (S1PR1) enables T cell exit from lymph nodes (LNs) into lymph, while endothelial S1PR1 expression regulates vascular permeability. Drugs targeting S1PR1 treat autoimmune disease by trapping pathogenic T cells within LNs, but they have adverse cardiovascular side effects. In homeostasis, the transporter SPNS2 supplies lymph S1P and enables T cell exit, while the transporter MFSD2B supplies most blood S1P and supports vascular function. It is unknown whether SPNS2 remains necessary to supply lymph S1P during an immune response, or whether in inflammation other compensatory transporters are upregulated. Here, using a model of dermal inflammation, we demonstrate that SPNS2 supplies the S1P that guides T cells out of LNs with an ongoing immune response. Furthermore, deletion of Spns2 is protective in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. These results support the therapeutic potential of SPNS2 inhibitors to achieve spatially specific modulation of S1P signaling.