Semaphorin 7A (SEMA7A) is a membrane-bound or secretory protein exerting multiple functions in the regulation of inflammation, neural degradation, and cancer progression. Human periapical lesions are chronic and infectious diseases mainly caused by bacteria. However, the involvement of SEMA7A in human periapical lesions is still unclear. This study aimed to explore the expression of SEMA7A in human periapical lesions accompanied by the potential association of SEMA7A with matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 and MMP-3 during the progression of apical periodontitis.
Samples of periapical lesions and healthy controls were collected. Total RNA and protein were extracted respectively for quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analysis. Additionally, 6 healthy samples and 27 periapical lesion samples were fixed, dehydrated, and embedded for further histologic and immunochemical analysis. The expression of SEMA7A was quantified by average integrated optical density. Immunofluorescence analysis was conducted to explore the colocalization of SEMA7A/MMP-1 and SEMA7A/MMP-3.
Compared with healthy controls, the messenger RNA and protein expression of SEMA7A was markedly up-regulated in periapical lesions. A stronger expression of MMP-1, MMP-3, and inflammatory cytokines was exhibited in periapical lesions than in healthy groups. An increasing expression of SEMA7A can be observed in both the periapical granuloma group and the radicular cyst group compared with the normal group (P < .01). Immunofluorescence results showed the colocalization of SEMA7A with both MMP-1 and MMP-3 in vascular vessels and extracellular matrix.
SEMA7A was up-regulated in periapical periodontitis and might be involved in the tissue destruction and infiltration of immune cells in periapical lesions.
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Published online: June 10, 2021
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