About this Research Topic
Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT) was proposed 20 years ago as an alternative therapeutic approach for patients with severe and refractory autoimmune diseases. Since then, this innovative therapy has been successfully used to treat several autoimmune diseases, such as neurological disorders (Multiple Sclerosis), connective tissue diseases (Systemic Sclerosis and Systemic Lupus Erythematous), gastrointestinal inflammatory diseases (Crohn’s Disease) and others (Juvenile Arthritis, Type 1 Diabetes, Vasculitis).
Experience in phase I-II and III clinical trials over the years has led to increased safety and efficacy of this procedure. Recent studies have demonstrated superior therapeutic efficacy of AHSCT versus conventional therapies, showing that transplantation can induce long-term disease remission in the absence of any further immunosuppressive treatment. Immune monitoring studies have showed that AHSCT is able to reduce the inflammatory milieu, to reset the immune balance and to promote the generation of a new auto-tolerant immune repertoire. However, some patients fail to remain in remission, and disease is re-activated after some time post-transplantation. This scenario indicates that further immunological interventions may be still required to improve AHSCT efficacy. Clear understanding of the operating immune mechanisms that contribute to specific clinical outcomes is vital to enable improvement of AHSCT protocols for autoimmune diseases.
This Research Topic will give a comprehensive overview about AHSCT for autoimmune diseases, with particular emphasis on the immune mechanisms involved in this therapy. We seek articles that cover the following topics:
1. Immune reconstitution studies post AHSCT for human autoimmune diseases.
2. Immune regulatory mechanisms of AHSCT for experimental models of autoimmune diseases.
3. Impact of different conditioning regimens on the immune reconstitution following AHSCT for autoimmune diseases.
4. Lymphopenia-induced and homeostatic T cell proliferation post AHSCT.
5. T and B cell ontogenesis following AHSCT.
6. Lymphopenia and autoimmunity.
7. T and B cell tolerance.
8. Biomarkers of clinical response post AHSCT for autoimmune diseases.
9. Evaluation of current AHSCT protocols for autoimmune diseases, focusing on further immunological interventions and future recommendations.
We welcome the submission of Review, Focused Review, Mini Review, Original Research, Perspective and Opinion articles to this Research Topic.
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.