Research Topic

The Role of the Extracellular Matrix in T Cell Immunity

About this Research Topic

The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a tissue-supporting network of macromolecules such as collagens, fibronectin and glycoproteins, as well as embedded enzymes and cytokines. Additionally, the ECM has been shown to play an important role in T cell immunity by exerting a variety of functions including cell adhesion, cell-to-cell communication and cell differentiation. The transforming growth factor (TGF)-β superfamily regulates cell fate decisions during development, tissue homeostasis and regeneration. TGF-β is a major player in tumorigenesis, fibrotic disorders, immune malfunctions and various congenital diseases. TGF-β is synthesized and secreted as inactive precursor, which is usually a part of extracellular matrix network together with type IV collagen, fibrinogen and fibronectin. Specifically, TGF-β plays an important role in regulating Treg and Th17 cell differentiation. In this Research Topic, we focus on T cell differentiation, migration and activation in homeostatic and pathological conditions including in cancer and the role played by ECM and TGF-β, respectively in controlling these responses.

This Research Topic aims at addressing whether the ECM and TGF-β are able to modify the environment where the T cell is primed and activated with antigens and cytokines and then consequently undertake the regulatory functions in autoimmune disease, tumor progress and infectious disease. We seek articles that cover, but are not limited to, the following topics:

1. Lineage specification of Th subsets and their regulation by the ECM and TGF-β
2. T-cell extrinsic signals that control Th development
3. Regulation of T cell migration by the ECM and TGF-β
4. Regulation of T cell activity by the ECM and TGF-β in autoimmune disorders, infectious disease, or cancer
5. Therapeutic targeting of the ECM and TGF-β, and combinations with immunotherapy strategies
6. ECM, TGF-b and Biomarkers that predict disease outcome or treatment responses


Keywords: T cells, Th cells, ECM, TGF-b, immunity, cancer, immunotherapy


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 extracellular matrix (ECM) is a tissue-supporting network of macromolecules such as collagens, fibronectin and glycoproteins, as well as embedded enzymes and cytokines. Additionally, the ECM has been shown to play an important role in T cell immunity by exerting a variety of functions including cell adhesion, cell-to-cell communication and cell differentiation. The transforming growth factor (TGF)-β superfamily regulates cell fate decisions during development, tissue homeostasis and regeneration. TGF-β is a major player in tumorigenesis, fibrotic disorders, immune malfunctions and various congenital diseases. TGF-β is synthesized and secreted as inactive precursor, which is usually a part of extracellular matrix network together with type IV collagen, fibrinogen and fibronectin. Specifically, TGF-β plays an important role in regulating Treg and Th17 cell differentiation. In this Research Topic, we focus on T cell differentiation, migration and activation in homeostatic and pathological conditions including in cancer and the role played by ECM and TGF-β, respectively in controlling these responses.

This Research Topic aims at addressing whether the ECM and TGF-β are able to modify the environment where the T cell is primed and activated with antigens and cytokines and then consequently undertake the regulatory functions in autoimmune disease, tumor progress and infectious disease. We seek articles that cover, but are not limited to, the following topics:

1. Lineage specification of Th subsets and their regulation by the ECM and TGF-β
2. T-cell extrinsic signals that control Th development
3. Regulation of T cell migration by the ECM and TGF-β
4. Regulation of T cell activity by the ECM and TGF-β in autoimmune disorders, infectious disease, or cancer
5. Therapeutic targeting of the ECM and TGF-β, and combinations with immunotherapy strategies
6. ECM, TGF-b and Biomarkers that predict disease outcome or treatment responses


Keywords: T cells, Th cells, ECM, TGF-b, immunity, cancer, immunotherapy


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

13 November 2020 Abstract
30 April 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

13 November 2020 Abstract
30 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

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

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