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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 20;8(6):e67225. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067225. Print 2013.

The axonal guidance cue semaphorin 3C contributes to alveolar growth and repair.

Author information

1
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Sprott Center for Stem Cell Research, Regenerative Medicine Program and Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

Lung diseases characterized by alveolar damage such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in premature infants and emphysema lack efficient treatments. Understanding the mechanisms contributing to normal and impaired alveolar growth and repair may identify new therapeutic targets for these lung diseases. Axonal guidance cues are molecules that guide the outgrowth of axons. Amongst these axonal guidance cues, members of the Semaphorin family, in particular Semaphorin 3C (Sema3C), contribute to early lung branching morphogenesis. The role of Sema3C during alveolar growth and repair is unknown. We hypothesized that Sema3C promotes alveolar development and repair. In vivo Sema3C knock down using intranasal siRNA during the postnatal stage of alveolar development in rats caused significant air space enlargement reminiscent of BPD. Sema3C knock down was associated with increased TLR3 expression and lung inflammatory cells influx. In a model of O2-induced arrested alveolar growth in newborn rats mimicking BPD, air space enlargement was associated with decreased lung Sema3C mRNA expression. In vitro, Sema3C treatment preserved alveolar epithelial cell viability in hyperoxia and accelerated alveolar epithelial cell wound healing. Sema3C preserved lung microvascular endothelial cell vascular network formation in vitro under hyperoxic conditions. In vivo, Sema3C treatment of hyperoxic rats decreased lung neutrophil influx and preserved alveolar and lung vascular growth. Sema3C also preserved lung plexinA2 and Sema3C expression, alveolar epithelial cell proliferation and decreased lung apoptosis. In conclusion, the axonal guidance cue Sema3C promotes normal alveolar growth and may be worthwhile further investigating as a potential therapeutic target for lung repair.

PMID:
23840631
PMCID:
PMC3688622
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0067225
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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