Research Topic

Sphingolipids in Cardiovascular Diseases: from Pathogenesis to Therapeutics

About this Research Topic

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death globally, and the number of CVD patients constantly increases. Therefore, the identification of novel molecular targets for the development of new treatments for CVDs and other related pathologies is an ongoing challenge for the scientific community. With this in mind, sphingolipids (SLs), which for many years, were considered as mere structural components of cell membranes, have been progressively recognized as potent bioactive compounds with crucial roles in key biological processes, including proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. In particular, the alteration of SL levels, have been directly associated with the development of several CVDs and they might be ascribed to changes in SL metabolism-related enzyme activity or expression, which ultimately could lead to a dangerous imbalance between SLs biosynthesis and/or turnover.

Despite very promising preclinical results that have been obtained by targeting SLs metabolism in different CVD models, several issues remain to be solved before SL modulation could become standard clinical practice. In particular, the extreme complexity of SL metabolism and the SL-mediated signaling cascades suggest that further and more in-depth research strategies are needed to fully understand the role of SLs in the pathophysiology of the cardiovascular system. In this context, the identification of new targets and molecular mechanisms driven by SLs and/or SL-modifying enzymes could represent the basis for the development of novel cardioprotective multi-target approaches that could be more effective than the current mono-therapies directed against a single molecule.

In this Research Topic, we invite contributions that improve and enhance the knowledge of SL biology and that present new possible therapeutic candidates with the aim to reduce CVD mortality. Moreover, we encourage reports describing the updated state-of-the-art knowledge of SLs and CVDs. Finally, studies that focus on CVDs co-morbidities and SLs will also be more than welcomed.

This Research Topic will focus on basic, translational, and clinical research that covers, but is not limited to the following specific themes:
• Updated or novel knowledge on the physiological and pathological roles of SLs and their metabolism in cardiovascular system development and in cardiovascular disease onset.
• Novel biological functions and signaling transduction of SLs in cardiovascular diseases.
• New therapeutic strategies to modulate SL metabolism in cardiovascular diseases: gene or cell therapy, small molecules, extracellular vesicles, etc.
• SLs as biomarkers for specific diagnosis and prognosis of cardiovascular diseases
• Myocardial lipotoxicity of SLs
• Influence of other diseases (type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, etc.) on SL metabolism and cardiovascular pathologies.
• Novel approaches to modulate SLs metabolism with pleiotropic cardioprotective effects.

We welcome submissions of Original Research papers, Reviews, Meta-analyses, Methodology papers, and Perspective articles.


Keywords: CVDs risk factors, CVDs therapies, sphingolipids metabolism, atherosclerosis, Ischemia and Reperfusion Injury, Sphingolipids, Cardiovascular Diseases


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death globally, and the number of CVD patients constantly increases. Therefore, the identification of novel molecular targets for the development of new treatments for CVDs and other related pathologies is an ongoing challenge for the scientific community. With this in mind, sphingolipids (SLs), which for many years, were considered as mere structural components of cell membranes, have been progressively recognized as potent bioactive compounds with crucial roles in key biological processes, including proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. In particular, the alteration of SL levels, have been directly associated with the development of several CVDs and they might be ascribed to changes in SL metabolism-related enzyme activity or expression, which ultimately could lead to a dangerous imbalance between SLs biosynthesis and/or turnover.

Despite very promising preclinical results that have been obtained by targeting SLs metabolism in different CVD models, several issues remain to be solved before SL modulation could become standard clinical practice. In particular, the extreme complexity of SL metabolism and the SL-mediated signaling cascades suggest that further and more in-depth research strategies are needed to fully understand the role of SLs in the pathophysiology of the cardiovascular system. In this context, the identification of new targets and molecular mechanisms driven by SLs and/or SL-modifying enzymes could represent the basis for the development of novel cardioprotective multi-target approaches that could be more effective than the current mono-therapies directed against a single molecule.

In this Research Topic, we invite contributions that improve and enhance the knowledge of SL biology and that present new possible therapeutic candidates with the aim to reduce CVD mortality. Moreover, we encourage reports describing the updated state-of-the-art knowledge of SLs and CVDs. Finally, studies that focus on CVDs co-morbidities and SLs will also be more than welcomed.

This Research Topic will focus on basic, translational, and clinical research that covers, but is not limited to the following specific themes:
• Updated or novel knowledge on the physiological and pathological roles of SLs and their metabolism in cardiovascular system development and in cardiovascular disease onset.
• Novel biological functions and signaling transduction of SLs in cardiovascular diseases.
• New therapeutic strategies to modulate SL metabolism in cardiovascular diseases: gene or cell therapy, small molecules, extracellular vesicles, etc.
• SLs as biomarkers for specific diagnosis and prognosis of cardiovascular diseases
• Myocardial lipotoxicity of SLs
• Influence of other diseases (type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, etc.) on SL metabolism and cardiovascular pathologies.
• Novel approaches to modulate SLs metabolism with pleiotropic cardioprotective effects.

We welcome submissions of Original Research papers, Reviews, Meta-analyses, Methodology papers, and Perspective articles.


Keywords: CVDs risk factors, CVDs therapies, sphingolipids metabolism, atherosclerosis, Ischemia and Reperfusion Injury, Sphingolipids, Cardiovascular Diseases


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 July 2021 Abstract
31 October 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 July 2021 Abstract
31 October 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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