Lysophosphatidic acids (LPAs) are bioactive phospholipids implicated in a wide range of cellular activities that regulate a diverse array of biological functions. They recognize two types of G protein-coupled receptors (LPARs): LPA1-3 receptors and LPA4-6 receptors that belong to the endothelial gene (EDG) family and non-endothelial gene family, respectively. In recent years, the LPA signaling pathway has captured an increasing amount of attention because of its involvement in various diseases, such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, cancers, cardiovascular diseases and neuropathic pain, making it a promising target for drug development. While no drugs targeting LPARs have been approved by the FDA thus far, at least three antagonists have entered phase Ⅱ clinical trials for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (BMS-986020 and BMS-986278) and systemic sclerosis (SAR100842), and one radioligand (BMT-136088/18F-BMS-986327) has entered phase Ⅰ clinical trials for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. This article provides an extensive review on the current status of ligand development targeting LPA receptors to modulate LPA signaling and their therapeutic potential in various diseases.
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