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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Repulsive axon guidance molecule Sema3A inhibits branching morphogenesis of fetal mouse lung.

Semaphorin III/collapsin-1 (Sema3A) guides a specific subset of neuronal growth cones as a repulsive molecule. In this study, we have investigated a possible role of non-neuronal Sema3A in lung morphogenesis. Expression of mRNAs of Sema3A and neuropilin-1 (NP-1), a Sema3A receptor, was detected in fetal and adult lungs. Sema3A-immunoreactive cells were found in airway and alveolar epithelial cells of the fetal and adult lungs. Immunoreactivity for NP-1 was seen in fetal and adult alveolar epithelial cells as well as endothelial cells. Immunoreactivity of collapsin response mediator protein CRMP (CRMP-2), an intracellular protein mediating Sema3A signaling, was localized in alveolar epithelial cells, nerve tissue and airway neuroendocrine cells. The expression of CRMP-2 increased during the fetal, neonate and adult periods, and this pattern paralleled that of NP-1. In a two-day culture of lung explants from fetal mouse lung (E11.5), with exogenous Sema3A at a dose comparable to that which induces growth cone collapse of dorsal root ganglia neurons, the number of terminal buds was reduced in a dose-dependent manner when compared with control or untreated lung explants. This decrease was not accompanied with any alteration of the bromodeoxyuridine-positive DNA-synthesizing fraction. A soluble NP-1 lacking the transmembrane and intracellular region, neutralized the inhibitory effect of Sema3A. The fetal lung explants from neuropilin-1 homozygous null mice grew normally in vitro regardless of Sema3A treatment. These results provide evidence that Sema3A inhibits branching morphogenesis in lung bud organ cultures via NP-1 as a receptor or a component of a possible multimeric Sema3A receptor complex.[1]


  1. Repulsive axon guidance molecule Sema3A inhibits branching morphogenesis of fetal mouse lung. Ito, T., Kagoshima, M., Sasaki, Y., Li, C., Udaka, N., Kitsukawa, T., Fujisawa, H., Taniguchi, M., Yagi, T., Kitamura, H., Goshima, Y. Mech. Dev. (2000) [Pubmed]
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