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Development. 1998 Nov;125(21):4313-23.

Semaphorins III and IV repel hippocampal axons via two distinct receptors.

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  • 1INSERM U106, Hôpital de la Salpêtrière, France.


The semaphorins are the largest family of repulsive axon guidance molecules. Secreted semaphorins bind neuropilin receptors and repel sensory, sympathetic and motor axons. Here we show that CA1, CA3 and dentate gyrus axons from E15-E17 mouse embryo explants are selectively repelled by entorhinal cortex and neocortex. The secreted semaphorins Sema III and Sema IV and their receptors Neuropilin-1 and -2 are expressed in the hippocampal formation during appropriate stages. Sema III and Sema IV strongly repel CA1, CA3 and dentate gyrus axons; entorhinal axons are only repelled by Sema III. An antibody against Neuropilin-1 blocks the repulsive action of Sema III and the entorhinal cortex, but has no effect on Sema IV-induced repulsion. Thus, chemorepulsion plays a role in axon guidance in the hippocampus, secreted semaphorins are likely to be responsible for this action, and the same axons can be repelled by two distinct semaphorins via two different receptors.

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