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Ceramide 1-phosphate (C1P) was recently demonstrated to potently induce cell migration. This action could only be observed when C1P was applied exogenously to cells in culture, and was inhibited by pertussis toxin. However, the mechanisms involved in this process are poorly understood. In this work, we found that phosphatidic acid (PA), which is structurally related to C1P, displaced radiolabeled C1P from its membrane-binding site and inhibited C1P-stimulated macrophage migration. This effect was independent of the saturated fatty acid chain length or the presence of a double bond in each of the fatty acyl chains of PA. Treatment of RAW264.7 macrophages with exogenous phospholipase D (PLD), an enzyme that produces PA from membrane phospholipids, also inhibited C1P-stimulated cell migration. Likewise, PA or exogenous PLD inhibited C1P-stimulated extracellularly regulated kinases (ERK) 1 and 2 phosphorylation, leading to inhibition of cell migration. However, PA did not inhibit C1P-stimulated Akt phosphorylation. It is concluded that PA is a physiological regulator of C1P-stimulated macrophage migration. These actions of PA may have important implications in the control of pathophysiological functions that are regulated by C1P, including inflammation and various cellular processes associated with cell migration such as organogenesis or tumor metastasis.