About this Research Topic
Hyalocytes were first described by Hannover in 1840 as a distinct resident macrophage-like cell population in the vitreous body. Since that time, we have come to recognize hyalocytes as specialized and adapted for the tissue-specific needs of the human vitreous body. Substantial research efforts have been made to elucidate the role of hyalocytes in health and disease(s) of the vitreo-retinal interface and perhaps more. Due to the recent availability of new techniques for in vivo cell imaging, gene targeting, and molecular biology, research on hyalocytes has gained momentum in both ophthalmology, neuroscience, and immunology, which we aim to capitalize upon in this collection of articles.
In recent years, we have witnessed an expansion of research into understanding the role of immune cells in the developing, healthy, aging, and diseased vitreous and retina. While considerable efforts have been made to unravel the role of retinal microglia during development and disease, little is known about the function of hyalocytes. In this Research Topic, we exploit technical advances in molecular biology to elucidate the functions of hyalocytes during development and in health, and their roles in disease. Special focus will be placed on summarizing the origin and turnover of hyalocytes during development and ageing in preclinical models, to compare them to other innate immune cells in the eye, and to assess their biological function in inflammatory, degenerative, and proliferative diseases of the vitreo-retinal interface, including uveitis, proliferative vitreo-retinopathy, macular pucker, and diabetic retinopathy. New insights into the universe of hyalocytes are likely to have significant implications for the treatment of sight-threatening eye disease and may help to design new strategies to promote restoration of tissue homeostasis in the vitreous and retina.
This Research Topic aims to cover three main thematic areas. We welcome original research, review, and clinical trial articles on: 1. anatomy, development, and aging of the vitreous and hyalocytes as related to degenerative vitreo-retinal and neurologic diseases; 2. immunological studies focusing on immune privilege of hyalocytes and their role in infectious diseases, inflammatory, and autoimmune disorders; 3. proliferative vitreo-retinal diseases. We also welcome imaging studies of the vitreous body and its cellular components in health and disease, which in the future may provide the basis for establishing biomarkers for vitreo-retinal disorders.
Keywords: Hyalocytes, vitreous, retina, development, anatomy, immune privilege, inflammation, uveitis, autoimmune disorders, proliferative disease of the vitreo-retinal interface
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