An important metabolite of ceramide is ceramide 1‑phosphate (C1P). This lipid second messenger was first demonstrated to be mitogenic for fibroblasts and macrophages and later shown to have antiapoptotic properties. C1P is also an important mediator of the inflammatory response, by stimulating the release of arachidonic acid through activation of group IVA cytosolic phospholipase A2, the initial rate‑limiting step of eicosanoid biosynthesis. C1P is formed from ceramide by the action of a specific ceramide kinase (CerK), which is distinct from the sphingosine kinases that synthesize sphingosine‑1‑phosphate. CerK is specific for natural ceramides with the erythro configuration in the base component and esterified to long‑chain fatty acids. CerK can be activated by different agonists, including interleukin 1‑beta, macrophage colony stimulating factor, or calcium ions. Most of the effects of C1P so far described seem to take place in intracellular compartments; however, the recent observation that C1P stimulates cell migration implicates a specific plasma membrane receptor that is coupled to a Gi protein. Therefore, C1P has a dual regulatory capacity acting as an intracellular second messenger to regulate cell survival, or as extracellular receptor ligand to stimulate chemotaxis.