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Special Issue "Autoimmunity in the Nervous Systems: Multiple Sclerosis and Beyond"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Neurobiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Maria Liguori
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Institute of Biomedical Technologies, Bari Unit, Bari, Italy
Interests: Neurosciences; Multiple Sclerosis; Neurodegenerative diseases; Genomics, Transcriptomics; Neuroimaging; Genotype-Phenotype correlations; Pharmacogenomics
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Maria Rosaria Coscia
Website1 Website2
Co-Guest Editor
National Research Council of Italy, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Via P. Castellino 111, 80131 Naples, Italy
Interests: comparative immunology; immunoglobulin genes; adaptive immunity; molecular biology; biochemistry; genome evolution; engineered monoclonal antibodies

Special Issue Information

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
Guest Editor
Dr. Maria Rosaria Coscia
Co-Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • 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
  • Immunotherapy
  • Biomarkers
  • Computational biology

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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