Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences

Semaphorins: a new class of immunoregulatory molecules.

PMID 16147531


The immune and nervous systems play distinct roles in maintaining physiological homeostasis. Recent data indicates that these systems influence one another and share many proteins and pathways that are essential for their normal function and development. Molecules originally shown to be critical for the development of proper immune responses have recently been found to function in the nervous system. Conversely, neuronal guidance cues can modulate immune functions. Although semaphorins were originally identified as axon guidance factors active during neuronal development, several recent studies have identified indispensable functions for these molecules in the immune system. This review provides an overview of the rapidly emerging functions of semaphorins and their receptors in the immune system.