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Mucosal Immunol. 2012 Jul;5(4):409-19. doi: 10.1038/mi.2012.18. Epub 2012 Apr 4.

Neuroimmune semaphorin 4A downregulates the severity of allergic response.

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Center for Vascular and Inflammatory Diseases, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


To define the role of semaphorin 4A (Sema4A) in allergic response, we employed Sema4A⁻/⁻ and wild-type (WT) mice in the experimental model of ovalbumin (OVA)-induced allergic airway inflammation. We observed a selective increase in eosinophilic airway infiltration accompanied by bronchial epithelial cell hyperplasia in allergen-treated Sema4A⁻/⁻ mice relative to WT mice. This enhanced inflammatory response was associated with a selective increase in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) interleukin 13 (IL-13) content, augmented airway hyperreactivity, and lower regulatory T cell (Treg) numbers. In vivo allergen-primed Sema4A⁻/⁻ CD4+ T cells were more effective in transferring T helper type 2 (Th2) response to naive mice as compared with WT CD4+ T cells. T-cell proliferation and IL-13 productions in OVA₃₂₃₋₃₃₉-restimulated Sema4A⁻/⁻ cell cultures were upregulated. Generated bone marrow chimeras showed an equal importance of both lung-resident cell and inflammatory cell Sema4A expression in optimal disease regulation. These data provide a new insight into Sema4A biology and define Sema4A as an important regulator of Th2-driven lung pathophysiology.

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