Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an immune-mediated disease that is characterized by demyelination and inflammation in the central nervous system (CNS). Previous studies demonstrated that sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor (S1PR) modulators effectively inhibit S1PR1 in immune cell trafficking and reduce entry of pathogenic cells into the CNS. Studies have also implicated a nonimmune, inflammatory role of S1PR1 within the CNS in MS. In this study, we explored the expression of S1PR1 in the development and progression of demyelinating pathology of MS by quantitative assessment of S1PR1 expression using our S1PR1-specific radioligand, [3H]CS1P1, in the postmortem human CNS tissues including cortex, cerebellum, and spinal cord of MS cases and age- and sex-matched healthy cases. Immunohistochemistry with whole slide scanning for S1PR1 and various myelin proteins was also performed. Autoradiographic analysis using [3H]CS1P1 showed that the expression of S1PR1 was statistically significantly elevated in lesions compared to nonlesion regions in the MS cases, as well as normal healthy controls. The uptake of [3H]CS1P1 in the gray matter and nonlesion white matter did not significantly differ between healthy and MS CNS tissues. Saturation autoradiography analysis showed an increased binding affinity (Kd) of [3H]CS1P1 to S1PR1 in both gray matter and white matter of MS brains compared to healthy brains. Our blocking study using NIBR-0213, a S1PR1 antagonist, indicated [3H]CS1P1 is highly specific to S1PR1. Our findings demonstrated the activation of S1PR1 and an increased uptake of [3H]CS1P1 in the lesions of MS CNS. In summary, our quantitative autoradiography analysis using [3H]CS1P1 on human postmortem tissues shows the feasibility of novel imaging strategies for MS by targeting S1PR1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4039-4050
Number of pages12
JournalACS Chemical Neuroscience
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 15 2023


  • S1PR1
  • [H]CS1P1
  • autoradiograph
  • central nervous system
  • lesion
  • multiple sclerosis


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