Sema4D is required in both the adaptive and innate immune responses of contact hypersensitivity

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Originally recognized as a regulator of axon guidance in the nervous system, Semaphorin 4D (Sema4D, CD100) also participates in various immune responses and many immune-related diseases. However, whether Sema4D is involved in the pathogenesis of contact hypersensitivity (CHS) remains unclear. In this study, we explored the role of Sema4D in oxazolone-induced CHS using Sema4D knockout (KO) mice. We found that Sema4D KO mice developed attenuated CHS responses, as indicated by milder ear-swelling, lower expression of IL-1β, IL-6, CXCL2 and CXCL5, and decreased recruitment of neutrophils, CD8+ T cells and CD4+ T cells. CHS was impaired in the wide type (WT) mice reconstituted with bone marrow from Sema4D KO mice, indicating that deletion of Sema4D gene in hematopoietic cells played a key role in the alleviated CHS in Sema4D KO mice. CHS was also attenuated in the WT mice transferred with draining lymph nodes (dLNs) cells from oxazolone-sensitized Sema4D KO mice, and the activation and differentiation of hapten-specific CD8+ T cells were impaired in Sema4D KO mice. Furthermore, Sema4D KO mice expressed less IL-1β and CXCL2 than WT mice after oxazolone sensitization, and after transferred with dLNs cells from oxazolone-sensitized WT mice, naïve Sema4D KO mice showed attenuated CHS responses upon oxazolone challenge, indicating that the innate immune response of CHS in Sema4D KO mice was also abrogated. Taken together, our findings revealed for the first time that Sema4D positively regulated both the adaptive and innate immune responses in CHS.

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