About this Research Topic
This Research Topic addresses the emerging role of extracellular vesicles in cellular communications and immune responses. We will emphasize their use as biomarkers (research tool to better understand extracellular vesicle functions) and immune modulators (therapeutic tool to suppress or enhance immune responses).
Extracellular Vesicles (EVs) are released in response to signals activating their parental cells. They are divided in two categories: small EVs (e.g. exosomes) and large EVs (e.g. microvesicles/ectosomes/microparticles). Small and large EVs differ in terms of size, release and budding mechanism, lipid and protein composition, and surface antigens. Research findings from the last decade suggest that EVs have an important, yet not completely understood, role in cell-cell communication. They can influence neighboring cells, act in an autocrine or paracrine manner, affect tumor growth, de novo-angiogenesis, and immunological functions. EVs are a novel and important tool to impact cell function and homeostasis in respond to environmental stimuli. They can also play a regulatory role in antigen presentation, innate and adaptive immune responses - such as T cell activation and differentiation - and induction of regulatory T cells.
Besides their intriguing role in immune regulation, EVs are characterized by their content (lipids, DNA fragment, mRNA, miRNA), proteome signatures, and their surface antigens; these may reveal their source and their parental cell entity. Novel insights into EVs could help identifying novel cell-cell regulatory circuits involving EVs as messengers. EVs could also be used as markers for ongoing parental cell activation, which would be helpful to further our understanding of EV-triggered inflammatory circuits. EVs could be used as a therapeutic tool to modulate (i.e. suppress or enhance) immune responses.
This Research Topic broadly addresses the biology of Extracellular Vesicles (EVs) in an immunological context. We encourage the submission of manuscripts addressing the following points:
- Potential surface markers on EVs capable to influence the immune system
- Immune or stromal cells derived EVs targeting cell-cell regulatory circuits.
- EV content analyses and its effect on target cells
- Possible therapeutic application of EVs and their impact on the immune system
We particularly welcome the following article types: Original Research, Methods, and Reviews.
Keywords: immunology, microvesicles, microparticles, exosomes, extracellular vesicles
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.