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REVIEW: Semaphorin 3A in the Immune System: Twenty Years of Study

Ekaterina P. Kiseleva1,2,a* and Kristina V. Rutto1,b

1Federal State Budgetary Scientific Institution “Institute of Experimental Medicine”, 197376 St. Petersburg, Russia

2Mechnikov North-Western State Medical University, 195067 St. Petersburg, Russia

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received February 19, 2022; Revised May 15, 2022; Accepted May 17, 2022
Semaphorin 3A is a secreted glycoprotein, which was originally identified as axon guidance factor in the neuronal system, but it also possesses immunoregulatory properties. Here, the effect of semaphorin 3A on T-lymphocytes, myeloid dendritic cells and macrophages is systematically analyzed on the bases of all publications available in the literature for 20 years. Expression of semaphorin 3A receptors – neuropilin-1 and plexins A – in these cells is described in details. The data obtained on human and murine cells is described comparatively. A comprehensive overview of the interaction of semaphorin 3A with mononuclear phagocyte system is presented for the first time. Semaphorin 3A signaling mostly results in changes of the cytoskeletal machinery and cellular morphology that regulate pathways involved in migration, adhesion, and cell–cell cooperation of immune cells. Accumulating evidence indicates that this factor is crucially involved in various phases of immune responses, including initiation phase, antigen presentation, effector T cell function, inflammation phase, macrophage activation, and polarization. In recent years, interest in this field has increased significantly because semaphorin 3A is associated with many human diseases and therefore can be used as a target for their treatment. Its involvement in the immune responses is important to study, because semaphorin 3A and its receptors turn to be a promising new therapeutic tools to be applied in many autoimmune, allergic, and oncology diseases.
KEY WORDS: semaphorin 3A, neuropilin-1, plexin, T lymphocytes, dendritic cells, macrophages

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297922070069