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Nat Commun. 2017 Mar 10;8:14666. doi: 10.1038/ncomms14666.

Stage-specific functions of Semaphorin7A during adult hippocampal neurogenesis rely on distinct receptors.

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Department of Translational Neuroscience, Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, University Medical Center Utrecht, 3584 CG Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e Biologia dei Sistemi and Neuroscience Institute Cavalieri Ottolenghi, University of Torino, 10100 Torino, Italy.
Centre for Animal Sciences, School of Basic and Applied Sciences, Central University Punjab, City Campus, Mansa Road, Bathinda 151001, India.
Vollum Institute, Oregon Health &Science University, Portland, Oregon 97239, USA.
Inserm, Laboratory of Development and Plasticity of the Neuroendocrine Brain, Jean-Pierre Aubert Research Centre, U1172, 59045 Lille, France.
University of Lille, 59045 Lille, France.
Neuroplasticity and Behavior Unit, Laboratory of Neurosciences, Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, Maryland 21224, USA.


The guidance protein Semaphorin7A (Sema7A) is required for the proper development of the immune and nervous systems. Despite strong expression in the mature brain, the role of Sema7A in the adult remains poorly defined. Here we show that Sema7A utilizes different cell surface receptors to control the proliferation and differentiation of neural progenitors in the adult hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG), one of the select regions of the mature brain where neurogenesis occurs. PlexinC1 is selectively expressed in early neural progenitors in the adult mouse DG and mediates the inhibitory effects of Sema7A on progenitor proliferation. Subsequently, during differentiation of adult-born DG granule cells, Sema7A promotes dendrite growth, complexity and spine development through β1-subunit-containing integrin receptors. Our data identify Sema7A as a key regulator of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, providing an example of how differential receptor usage spatiotemporally controls and diversifies the effects of guidance cues in the adult brain.

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