Semaphorin Signaling During Cardiac Development

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A number of semaphorins have been shown to play crucial roles as axon guidance cues in the wiring of the nervous system, including axon fasciculation, branching, and target selection. However, increasing evidence has also attested to the significance of semaphorins in the development of other organ systems, including the cardiovascular system. Targeted disruption of certain semaphorins or their receptors, has been shown to result in various defects in the vascular system. Furthermore, several studies have suggested that some semaphorins may contribute to the development of the cardiovascular system by controlling the migration of endothelial cells, cardiac myocytes, or their precursors. In this review, we will discuss how semaphorin signals are involved in regulation of cardiac cells and cardiac morphogenesis.