About this Research Topic
The skeletal and immune systems are intricately linked in space and function. Crosstalk between immune cells and musculoskeletal tissue, including bone, muscle, and tendons, has long proved essential for normal development and regeneration. This past decade of investigation has also demonstrated how alterations to macrophage and other immune cell populations due to aging and metabolic dysfunction underlie the impaired tissue repair response seen in chronic musculoskeletal diseases such as osteoarthritis, tendinopathy, and non-union fracture healing. Disruptions to the extracellular matrix in rare connective tissue diseases such as Osteogenesis Imperfecta have also been shown to impact local immune cell populations, suggesting a role for matrix-to-immune cell signaling in tissue development and homeostasis. Despite the immense advances in this area of research, several important questions remain unresolved.
This Research Topic focuses on the impact of the immune system and, particularly, inflammation on musculoskeletal health and disease. We welcome Original Research, Review and Mini Review articles that:
• Improve criteria and markers for immune cell populations during development and musculoskeletal disease (i.e., macrophage).
• Identify not only how aberrant inflammation disrupts musculoskeletal tissue structure but also how inflammation impacts tissue vascularization and innervation, and how this contributes to pain and other deficits in musculoskeletal diseases.
• Clarify how deficits in the extracellular matrix of musculoskeletal tissues impact immune cell engagement, tissue development, and repair.
• Identify signals involved in cross communication between immune cells and cells of the skeletal system (both systemic signals and signals relayed locally within the niche) – novel signals and signals altered by disease or aging.
• Investigate (or summarize) novel therapeutic approaches that alter or employ immune cells or their cytokines to improve tissue repair and reverse musculoskeletal disease states.
Keywords: Inflammation, Immune Cells, Aging, Bone, Cartilage, Tendon; Ligament, Fracture, Arthritis, Connective Tissue Disease
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.