Research Topic

Innate Immune Imbalance and NCDs Predisposition in The First Thousand Days

About this Research Topic

The research area of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) aims to elucidate how different life experiences can shape health and disease risks. Such experiences can occur at all stages, but the first thousand days – from (pre)conception to the first two years after birth - are thought to have the most profound impact. A well matched intra- and extrauterine uterine environment is necessary to ensure healthy growth and development, emphasizing the importance of maternal nutrition in the maternal-child dyad, although it is becoming clearer that paternal influences should definitely not be excluded. After birth, the neonatal immune system is still immature and biased towards Th2 type responses. Most neonatal leukocytes (e.g. monocytes, NK cells, neutrophils) are functionally downregulated as compared to their adult counterparts. However, the neonate must adapt to the transition from the uterus to the outside world, establishing its own gut microbiota, and very quickly learn to distinguish friend from foe. Innate lymphoid cells appear to be important in orchestrating these early events.

An adequate (micro)nutrient provision is key in allowing for optimal metabolic and immune programming. Human milk is the golden standard for infant nutrition, but the exact mechanisms by which human milk contributes to optimal development have not yet been elucidated. The lack of essential nutritional components and/or the presence of detrimental factors (such as antibiotics, pollutants and drugs) in the exposome is associated with a higher risk of developing non-communicable diseases (NCDs). For instance, antibiotic use has been linked to a lower gut microbiome diversity and increased risk for excessive weight gain, asthma, allergies and autoimmune diseases, such as inflammatory bowel diseases. However, the exact mechanism by which the exposure to such factors in the first life stages results in predisposition to NCDs is still unclear, and this is probably the result of the combined effect of multiple exposures.

In this Research Topic we would like to draw attention to the interaction of early life nutrition with the immune system, the microbiota and other components of the exposome, especially detrimental factors. Our goal is to advance our knowledge on how perinatal nutrition can shape immune outcomes, with a focus on the development of NCDs. It is of special interest to assess which epigenetic modifications can potentially be associated with the development of these NCDs.

We welcome the submission of Original Research articles, Perspectives Clinical Trials and Systematic Reviews covering, but not limited to, the following subtopics:

• Interactions of (micro)nutrients and environmental factors (e.g. antibiotics, toxins, pollutants) with the developing immune system, in particular the innate immune system
• The influence of nutrition in inducing epigenetic changes associated with the immune system development and NCDs response.
• The impact of nutrition in the development of immune microbiome in early life and the potential impact on health outcomes
• Early life nutritional strategies for reducing the risk of NCDs development

Topic Editor Dr. Knipples is employed for Danone Nutricia Research. Topic Editor Dr. Nadeau is co-Founder of BeforeBrands Inc. and Alladapt Immunotherapeutics. The other Topic Editors declare no conflict of interest related to the Research Topic theme


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The research area of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) aims to elucidate how different life experiences can shape health and disease risks. Such experiences can occur at all stages, but the first thousand days – from (pre)conception to the first two years after birth - are thought to have the most profound impact. A well matched intra- and extrauterine uterine environment is necessary to ensure healthy growth and development, emphasizing the importance of maternal nutrition in the maternal-child dyad, although it is becoming clearer that paternal influences should definitely not be excluded. After birth, the neonatal immune system is still immature and biased towards Th2 type responses. Most neonatal leukocytes (e.g. monocytes, NK cells, neutrophils) are functionally downregulated as compared to their adult counterparts. However, the neonate must adapt to the transition from the uterus to the outside world, establishing its own gut microbiota, and very quickly learn to distinguish friend from foe. Innate lymphoid cells appear to be important in orchestrating these early events.

An adequate (micro)nutrient provision is key in allowing for optimal metabolic and immune programming. Human milk is the golden standard for infant nutrition, but the exact mechanisms by which human milk contributes to optimal development have not yet been elucidated. The lack of essential nutritional components and/or the presence of detrimental factors (such as antibiotics, pollutants and drugs) in the exposome is associated with a higher risk of developing non-communicable diseases (NCDs). For instance, antibiotic use has been linked to a lower gut microbiome diversity and increased risk for excessive weight gain, asthma, allergies and autoimmune diseases, such as inflammatory bowel diseases. However, the exact mechanism by which the exposure to such factors in the first life stages results in predisposition to NCDs is still unclear, and this is probably the result of the combined effect of multiple exposures.

In this Research Topic we would like to draw attention to the interaction of early life nutrition with the immune system, the microbiota and other components of the exposome, especially detrimental factors. Our goal is to advance our knowledge on how perinatal nutrition can shape immune outcomes, with a focus on the development of NCDs. It is of special interest to assess which epigenetic modifications can potentially be associated with the development of these NCDs.

We welcome the submission of Original Research articles, Perspectives Clinical Trials and Systematic Reviews covering, but not limited to, the following subtopics:

• Interactions of (micro)nutrients and environmental factors (e.g. antibiotics, toxins, pollutants) with the developing immune system, in particular the innate immune system
• The influence of nutrition in inducing epigenetic changes associated with the immune system development and NCDs response.
• The impact of nutrition in the development of immune microbiome in early life and the potential impact on health outcomes
• Early life nutritional strategies for reducing the risk of NCDs development

Topic Editor Dr. Knipples is employed for Danone Nutricia Research. Topic Editor Dr. Nadeau is co-Founder of BeforeBrands Inc. and Alladapt Immunotherapeutics. The other Topic Editors declare no conflict of interest related to the Research Topic theme


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

21 October 2020 Manuscript
19 February 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

21 October 2020 Manuscript
19 February 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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