Here, we show that the liver-derived apolipoprotein M (ApoM) protects the lung and kidney from pro-fibrotic insults and that this circulating factor is attenuated in aged mice. Aged mouse hepatocytes exhibit transcriptional suppression of ApoM. This leads to reduced sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) signaling via the S1P receptor 1 (S1PR1) in the vascular endothelial cells of lung and kidney. Suboptimal S1PR1 angiocrine signaling causes reduced resistance to injury-induced vascular leak and leads to organ fibrosis. Plasma transfusion from Apom transgenic mice but not Apom knockout mice blocked fibrosis in the lung. Similarly, infusion of recombinant therapeutics, ApoM-Fc fusion protein enhanced kidney and lung regeneration and attenuated fibrosis in aged mouse after injury. Furthermore, we identified that aging alters Sirtuin-1-hepatic nuclear factor 4α circuit in hepatocytes to downregulate ApoM. These data reveal an integrative organ adaptation that involves circulating S1P chaperone ApoM+ high density lipoprotein (HDL), which signals via endothelial niche S1PR1 to spur regeneration over fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)677-690.e4
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Issue number6
StatePublished - 22 Jun 2020


  • aging
  • endothelial cell
  • fibrosis
  • kidney repair
  • lipoprotein
  • lung regeneration
  • sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor
  • vascular barrier
  • vascular niche


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