About this Research Topic
Many modern medicines are derived from, or inspired by, compounds that are readily found in nature. Flavonoids are a diverse group of bioactive compounds found within plants that have a myriad of beneficial properties for human health, including antioxidant effects, prevention of inflammation and anti-microbial activities. A better understanding of flavonoids and their impact on immune function and regulation is needed as many epidemiological studies demonstrate that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables positively correlates with a reduced risk of multiple chronic inflammatory diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and multiple sclerosis. In examining the potential of flavonoids in inhibiting inflammation, studies show that flavonoids activate T reg cells by suppressing the mTOR pathway. Additionally, flavonoids have been shown to inhibit macrophage cytokine production and decrease T cell trafficking. These polyphenol molecules have the potential to both enhance, or inhibit, innate and adaptive immune responses, depending on the structure of the molecule.
Flavonoids have the potential to be helpful in the prevention and/or treatment of inflammatory diseases. However, we do not fully understand how they might function in this capacity. Identification and understanding of novel flavonoid-based drugs and their targets are needed for the development of new strategies for immune modulation. Knowledge of whether and how flavonoids impact cell signaling pathways, epigenetic regulation and biomarkers of the immune response may benefit individuals suffering from chronic inflammatory diseases.
Our understanding of the biological roles of polyphenols and secondary plant metabolites such as flavonoids has recently improved. For example, in vitro data shows that flavonoids impact the immune response to pathogen, regulate intestinal mucosal immune responses and modulate anti-tumor immunity. Moreover, the consumption of fruits and vegetables may improve immune function. However, the mechanism of action in humans is not clear. There is a need for more research to clarify the role of flavonoids and their mechanism of action in the modulation of immune responses in humans. Given the increasing prevalence of chronic inflammatory diseases, flavonoids may have untapped potential as therapeutic agents.
We invite you and your research teams, as experts from multiple disciplines working in the area of flavonoid research, to contribute Original Research or Review articles. We are particularly interested in articles that entail studies on the identification, roles and molecular mechanisms of action of flavonoids and translational approaches towards the use of flavonoids of clinical relevance for immune modulation in the context of chronic inflammatory diseases.
We invite the submission of manuscripts that will cover, but are not limited to, the following topics:
• Flavonoids in foods that modulate immune responses
• Role of flavonoids in prevention of chronic immune disorders
• Effect of flavonoids on immune cell signaling pathways
• Impact of flavonoids on epigenetic factors involved in immune modulation
• Role of flavonoids on biomarkers of inflammation
• Metabolism of flavonoids and the effect on immune cell function
Keywords: Flavonoids, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulation, mTOR, immune therapy
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.