Special Issue "Autoimmunity in the Nervous Systems: Multiple Sclerosis and Beyond"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2021.
Interests: neurosciences; multiple sclerosis; neurodegenerative diseases; genomics, transcriptomics; neuroimaging; genotype-phenotype correlations; pharmacogenomics
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Interests: comparative immunology; immunoglobulin genes; adaptive immunity; molecular biology; biochemistry; genome evolution; engineered monoclonal antibodies
The term “Autoimmunity” describes the loss of immunological tolerance (central o peripheral) that allows to recognize its own cells and tissues as “self”; in humans, this leads to aberrant immune responses directed against healthy tissues and/or cells or cell components, resulting in diseases that may involve local (organ-specific, e.g. the central and/or peripheral nervous system) or systemic reactions.
At present, it is well known that there are several cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying autoimmunity (e.g. molecular mimicry, cytokine dysregulation, dendritic cell apoptosis and defective autophagy), in which different factors such as sex, genes and the environment can play different roles. In particular, since females have been reported to be more often affected by autoimmune diseases, the interest has been addressed towards the biological analysis of the observed sex-bias and its impact on immune-mediated diseases.
One of the most recognizable and studied autoimmune disease of the Central Nervous System is Multiple Sclerosis (MS), however several other syndromes have been rapidly recognized, depending on the target of the immunological reaction. Interestingly, sometimes the molecular mechanisms underlying these disorders are overlapping due to common pathogenic pathways. As examples, conditional deletions of autophagy-related proteins seem to protect from experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (the animal model of MS) and experimental arthritis. Furthermore, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of autophagy-related genes were reported associated with the susceptibility to both systemic lupus erythematosus and Crohn's disease. In our view, also looking into these types of interactions will help to disentangle the complex regulation of autoimmuniy, and it will also provide a valuable support for addressing possible novel targeted therapeutic efforts.
In this Special Issue we aim to provide the whole picture of autoimmunity from a broad perspective, starting from the general molecular mechanisms and the novel hypotheses on its multifactorial background, to other more practical perspectives, such as the identification of potential biomarkers of the immune status associated with a given disease. Particular interest will be addressed to novel and original data reporting significant sex differences in the autoimmune pathogenic mechanisms of the most known neurological diseases.
Dr. Maria Liguori
Dr. Maria Rosaria Coscia
Manuscript Submission Information
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- Molecular basis of immune mechanisms
- Genetics and epigenetics of autoimmune diseases
- Immune dysregulation
- Sex differences of self-tolerance and other pathogenic mechanisms
- Autoimmunity and neurodegeneration
- Environmental modulation of immune response
- Microbiome and Nervous Systems
- Multiple Sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases
- Computational biology