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Immune Semaphorins: Novel Features of Neural Guidance Molecules

  • Masayuki Mizui
  • Atsushi Kumanogoh
  • Hitoshi Kikutani
Article

Abstract

Introduction

The immune and nervous system have various common features in the functional characteristics. Both have an intricate network of synaptic connections and an exquisite communication system that enables intercellular signal transduction. They also share a number of messenger molecules such as cytokines and chemical mediators.

Discussion

Semaphorins, well-defined axonal guidance molecules in the nervous system, also play critical roles in immune regulation. Various types of semaphorins, including secreted, transmembrane, truncated, and glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored forms, function during immune responses. However, some semaphorins utilize receptors in the immune system that are distinct from receptors in the nervous system.

Conclusion

This review presents a current overview of ‘immune semaphorins’ and their receptors, providing insight into the pleiotropic activity of this protein family.

Keywords

Semaphorins semaphorin receptors immune regulation autoimmune disease allergy 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank K. Kubota for secretarial assistance. This study was supported by the Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology program of the Japanese Science and Technology Agency and Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (S)-20229007 of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masayuki Mizui
    • 1
    • 3
  • Atsushi Kumanogoh
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hitoshi Kikutani
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Immunology, Research Institute for Microbial DiseasesOsaka UniversitySuitaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Immunopathology, Research Institute for Microbial DiseasesOsaka UniversitySuitaJapan
  3. 3.WPI Immunology Frontier Research CenterOsaka UniversitySuitaJapan

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