We previously reported that neuroimmune semaphorin (Sema) 4A regulates the severity of experimental allergic asthma and increases regulatory T (Treg) cell numbers in vivo; however, the mechanisms of Sema4A action remain unknown. It was also reported that Sema4A controls murine Treg cell function and survival acting through neuropilin 1 (NRP-1) receptor. To clarify Sema4A action on human T cells, we employed T cell lines (HuT78 and HuT102), human PBMCs, and CD4+ T cells in phenotypic and functional assays. We found that HuT78 demonstrated a T effector-like phenotype (CD4+CD25lowFoxp3-), whereas HuT102 expressed a Treg-like phenotype (CD4+CD25hi Foxp3+). Neither cell line expressed NRP-1. HuT102 cells expressed Sema4A counter receptor Plexin B1, whereas HuT78 cells were Sema4A+. All human peripheral blood CD4+ T cells, including Treg cells, expressed PlexinB1 and lacked both NRP-1 and -2. However, NRP-1 and Sema4A were detected on CD3negativeCD4intermediate human monocytes. Culture of HuT cells with soluble Sema4A led to an upregulation of CD25 and Foxp3 markers on HuT102 cells. Addition of Sema4A increased the relative numbers of CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ cells in PBMCs and CD4+ T cells, which were NRP-1negative but PlexinB1+, suggesting the role of this receptor in Treg cell stability. The inclusion of anti-PlexinB1 blocking Ab in cultures before recombinant Sema4A addition significantly decreased Treg cell numbers as compared with cultures with recombinant Sema4A alone. Sema4A was as effective as TGF-β in inducible Treg cell induction from CD4+CD25depleted cells but did not enhance Treg cell suppressive activity in vitro. These results suggest strategies for the development of new Sema4A-based therapeutic measures to combat allergic inflammatory diseases. ImmunoHorizons, 2019, 3: 71-87.
- Plexin B1