Research Topic

Interferons and Graft-versus-Host Disease

About this Research Topic

Over the past decades, extensive researches on interferons, Graft-versus-Host-Disease (GvHD), and Graft-versus-Leukemia (GvL) have been made. Nonetheless, pharmacologic modulation of interferon signaling to optimally control GvHD and GvL has not been successful. These unfortunate outcomes are due to the pleiotropic nature of these cytokines, that is, depending on context and timing of intervention, blocking interferons may mitigate or aggravate GvHD while maintaining or abrogating GvL. More importantly, the mechanisms underlying the pleiotropic effects of interferons in GvHD and GvL remain unknown. This gap in the mechanistic understanding hinders our ability to optimally modulate GvHD while maintaining or enhancing GvL.

The goals of this Research Topic are to define the roles of interferons in the context of transplantation and to elucidate the mechanisms by which interferons modulate GvHD and GvL, thereby providing insights into novel therapeutic approaches to optimally control GvHD and GvL. Indeed, several research areas still remain to be fully explored to elucidate the mechanisms of action of interferons in the context of transplantation. These include i) Roles of interferons over time following transplantation in innate immunity, adaptive immunity, and cross-talk between the two, ii) How do interferons regulate immune cells, antigen presentation, T cell differentiation, and immune cell trafficking?, iii) Effects of interferons on recipient cells/organs vs. donor graft, iv) Cross-talk between interferons and how they affect each other, and v) Pharmacologic modulation of interferons for transplantation therapies.

In this Research Topic, we welcome the submission of Original Research, Review, Mini-Review, Hypothesis and Theory, Perspective, Clinical Trial, and Case Report articles that cover, but are not limited to, the following topics:

• Effects of interferons on recipient cells and tissues.
• Role of interferons in APCs, donor bone marrow-derived pDCs, and donor T cells.
• Interferon downstream effectors: S100A8 and S100A9 in T cells and in bone marrow-derived pDCs.
• Roles of interferons in IBD and GI GvHD.
• Role of interferons in transplant (either organ or cell transplant).
• Innate and adaptive immune in GvHD and GvL. Innate immunity that leads to Th1/Th2/Th17 responses.
• Cross talk between interferons. Interferons and Immune Network.
• Role of interferons in donor engraftment and immune reconstitution.
• Interferons and reduced intensity conditioning.
• Interferons, antigen presentation (MHC I and MHC II), and GvL.
• Immune cell trafficking to GvHD target organs and tumors.
• Interferons and cytotoxic molecules.
• Interferons and epigenetic modulation.
• Interferons and biomarkers.
• Pharmacologic Modulation of interferon signaling.


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.

Over the past decades, extensive researches on interferons, Graft-versus-Host-Disease (GvHD), and Graft-versus-Leukemia (GvL) have been made. Nonetheless, pharmacologic modulation of interferon signaling to optimally control GvHD and GvL has not been successful. These unfortunate outcomes are due to the pleiotropic nature of these cytokines, that is, depending on context and timing of intervention, blocking interferons may mitigate or aggravate GvHD while maintaining or abrogating GvL. More importantly, the mechanisms underlying the pleiotropic effects of interferons in GvHD and GvL remain unknown. This gap in the mechanistic understanding hinders our ability to optimally modulate GvHD while maintaining or enhancing GvL.

The goals of this Research Topic are to define the roles of interferons in the context of transplantation and to elucidate the mechanisms by which interferons modulate GvHD and GvL, thereby providing insights into novel therapeutic approaches to optimally control GvHD and GvL. Indeed, several research areas still remain to be fully explored to elucidate the mechanisms of action of interferons in the context of transplantation. These include i) Roles of interferons over time following transplantation in innate immunity, adaptive immunity, and cross-talk between the two, ii) How do interferons regulate immune cells, antigen presentation, T cell differentiation, and immune cell trafficking?, iii) Effects of interferons on recipient cells/organs vs. donor graft, iv) Cross-talk between interferons and how they affect each other, and v) Pharmacologic modulation of interferons for transplantation therapies.

In this Research Topic, we welcome the submission of Original Research, Review, Mini-Review, Hypothesis and Theory, Perspective, Clinical Trial, and Case Report articles that cover, but are not limited to, the following topics:

• Effects of interferons on recipient cells and tissues.
• Role of interferons in APCs, donor bone marrow-derived pDCs, and donor T cells.
• Interferon downstream effectors: S100A8 and S100A9 in T cells and in bone marrow-derived pDCs.
• Roles of interferons in IBD and GI GvHD.
• Role of interferons in transplant (either organ or cell transplant).
• Innate and adaptive immune in GvHD and GvL. Innate immunity that leads to Th1/Th2/Th17 responses.
• Cross talk between interferons. Interferons and Immune Network.
• Role of interferons in donor engraftment and immune reconstitution.
• Interferons and reduced intensity conditioning.
• Interferons, antigen presentation (MHC I and MHC II), and GvL.
• Immune cell trafficking to GvHD target organs and tumors.
• Interferons and cytotoxic molecules.
• Interferons and epigenetic modulation.
• Interferons and biomarkers.
• Pharmacologic Modulation of interferon signaling.


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

30 November 2020 Abstract
28 February 2021 Manuscript

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

30 November 2020 Abstract
28 February 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

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

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