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Recent Advances in Basic and Translational Osteoimmunology

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The role of immune system in various bone pathologies, such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is now well established. This led to the emergence “Osteoimmunology”, an interdisciplinary research field that not only coalesces osteobiology and immunology but portrays the dynamic ...

The role of immune system in various bone pathologies, such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is now well established. This led to the emergence “Osteoimmunology”, an interdisciplinary research field that not only coalesces osteobiology and immunology but portrays the dynamic interactions between these two integrated systems. A timely overview of the recent insights on the crosstalk between these systems (bone and immune system) is a prerequisite for comprehending advances in this field. This knowledge will supposedly form the backbone for future therapeutic approaches to address the still very prevalent need for better therapies in degenerative bone diseases and in furthering regenerative therapeutic options towards clinical application.

Osteoimmunology is an upcoming discipline that cuts across the skeletal and the immune systems, and offers new etiologic paradigms for bone diseases. The key cellular players of the bone-immune system cross-talk include immune cells (T- and B-lymphocytes, dendritic cells, and neutrophils), hematopoietic stem cells, osteoblasts, osteoclasts, and bone marrow and osteal macrophages. Although traditionally not viewed from an immunologic standpoint, fracture healing has been recognized to involve a critical interplay between mesenchymal stromal cell (MSCs) and immune cells. Metabolic bone diseases, among which osteoporosis represents the most prevalent form, have being increasingly recognized as diseases caused by the aberrant functioning of T cells and T cell-produced costimulatory molecules. In this regard, the regulation of the immune system and the immune reaction through hormones (gonadal as well as calciotropic) and the composition of the gut microbiota are new important research foci. In RA, the morbidity is not only caused by cartilage damage but also by osteolysis at the subchondral bones. The available anti-RA treatment regimens are directed against cartilage damage for which the primary outcome measure is the inhibition of radiographic disease progression while local and systemic bone loss continue to take place due to the destructive feed forward actions of a diverse array of inflammatory cytokines that have being elucidated. Although the pathogenesis of OA recapitulates RA when it comes to the release of cartilage specific autoantigens, the use of biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) have not achieved the same success as in RA. This indicates that there are still unknown molecular targets, and fascinating research is under way towards their discovery. Moreover, avid investigations exploring the immunologic link to periodontal diseases and myelodysplasia are exciting inclusions in the growing repertoire of osteoimmunology. In depth reviews of each of these facets may ultimately culminate in the discovery of therapeutics targeting those molecular candidates that critically mediate the interaction between the bone and the immune systems.

In this Research Topic we aim to compile a series of articles that will contribute to the major advances in the rapidly evolving field of “Osteoimmunology”, at both basic and translational fronts, with a strong immunological perspective. We welcome the submission of Original Research, Review, Mini Review, Protocol, Method, Clinical Trial, Case Report, Perspective and Opinion articles with a major immunological focus that primarily cover the following topics:

• Immunological perspective of bone remodeling and regeneration
• Role of immune cells in diseases of bones, joints, dental and oral diseases
• The role of innate and adaptive immunity in the regulation of bone healing
• The role of the osteoimmune system in regulating host physiology
• The interplay between gut microbiota and bone-immune complex
• Interplay between the hematopoietic system and bone-immune complex
• The role of cytokines in inflammatory and metabolic bone diseases
• “Immunoporosis” - the role of immune system in osteoporosis.
• Suppressors of Cytokine Signaling (SOCS) in inflammatory bone conditions.
• Novel therapeutics, pharmacological targets, and point-of-care assays for early detection of bone loss


Keywords: Osteoimmunology, Immune Cells, Bone, inflammatory bone diseases, SOCS, Cytokines


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