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During organogenesis, patterning is primarily achieved by the combined actions of morphogens. Among these, semaphorins represent a general system for establishing the appropriate wiring architecture of biological nets. Originally discovered as evolutionarily conserved steering molecules for developing axons, subsequent studies on semaphorins expanded their functions to the cardiovascular and immune systems. Semaphorins participate in cardiac organogenesis and control physiological vasculogenesis and angiogenesis, which result from a balance between pro- and anti-angiogenic signals. These signals are altered in several diseases. In this review, we discuss the role of semaphorins in vascular biology, emphasizing the mechanisms by which these molecules control vascular patterning and lymphangiogenesis, as well as in genetically inherited and degenerative vascular diseases. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Davide Corà, Elena Astanina, Enrico Giraudo, Federico Bussolino. Semaphorins in cardiovascular medicine. Trends in molecular medicine. 2014 Oct;20(10):589-98

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PMID: 25154329

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