Clinically significant radiation-induced lung injury (RILI) is associated with significant morbidity and mortality and a common toxicity in patients administered thoracic radiotherapy. While the molecular etiology of RILI is poorly understood, we previously characterized a murine model of RILI in which alterations in lung endothelial barrier integrity surfaced as a potentially important pathobiologic event. In these studies, inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase activity (simvastatin) reduced murine RILI-associated lung inflammation and vascular leak and attenuated radiation-induced dysregulation of sphingolipid metabolic pathway genes identified by genome-wide lung gene expression profiling. In the present study, we test the hypothesis that sphingolipid signaling components serve as important modulators of RILI pathobiology and novel therapeutic targets. Sphingolipid involvement in murine RILI was confirmed by radiation-induced increases in lung expression of sphingosine kinase (SphK) isoforms 1 and 2 and increases in the ratio of ceramide to cumulative sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) and dihydro-S1P (DHS1P) levels in plasma, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid and lung tissue following 25 Gy exposure (6 weeks). Moreover, genetically-engineered mice with either targeted deletion of SphK1 (SphK1-/-), or with reduced expression of selective members of the S1P receptor family (S1PR1+/-, S1PR2-/-, S1PR3-/-,), exhibited marked susceptibility to RILI-mediated lung inflammation. Finally, we assessed the efficacy of three potent vascular barrier-protective S1P analogues FTY720 (FTY), fTysiponate (fTyS) and SEW-2871 (SEW) in attenuating indices of RILI. The phosphonate analogue, fTyS, and to a lesser degree SEW, exhibited significant attenuation of RILI and RILI-induced gene dysregulation compared to control RILI-challenged mice (6 weeks). In contrast, FTY failed to significantly alter physiologic or genomic changes compared to RILI-challenged controls. Together, these results support the targeting of sphingolipid components as a novel and effective therapeutic strategy in RILI.