About this Research Topic
The clearance of apoptotic cells is essential for proper development, homeostasis and the termination of immune responses in multicellular organisms. Thus, the cellular and molecular players taking part in the sequential events of this process are of great interest. Research in the last 20 years has indicated that specific ligands and receptors take part in the attraction of immune cells toward apoptotic targets and in the interactions between apoptotic cells and professional as well as non-professional phagocytes that engulf them. Moreover, the phagocytosis of apoptotic cells (efferocytosis) leads to significant phenotypic changes in the engulfing cells that suggest it is a major fate-determining event for phagocytes. Particularly, efferocytosis has an important impact on the inflammation-resolution axis as well as embryonic development and tissue morphogenesis. Deficiencies in these processes can result in health threats, such as autoimmunity, atherosclerosis, bone loss, obesity, infertility, neurodegeneration, fibrosis and cancer. This Research Topic issue will cover a wide range of subjects in apoptotic cell clearance:
1. Apoptotic cell clearance in embryonic development and tissue morphogenesis.
2. Apoptotic cell clearance in the maintenance of homeostatic physiology.
3. Apoptotic cell clearance in inflammation, developmental immunology and autoimmunity.
4. Apoptotic cell clearance in pathologies.
5. Molecular pathways involved in apoptotic cell clearance and related processes.
Particular focus will be given to the modulation of phagocyte/macrophage phenotype and function by apoptotic cells and the signaling cascades that govern these changes.
Keywords: Phagocytes, Apoptosis, Engulfment of debris, Tissue maintenance, Immuneregulation
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