About this Research Topic
To optimize antigen specific immune responses, immunologists have been focusing on strategies based on targeting antigenic determinants to specific receptors expressed by defined subsets of professional antigen presenting cells (pAPCs). For instance, the most efficient delivery systems rely on co-administration of both antigens and adjuvants to activate pAPCs cells such as dendritic cells (DCs) and to improve their efficacy. Co-delivery of both antigen and adjuvant into the same cell allows for only cells which have internalised the antigen to receive the activation signal, avoiding induction of T cell anergy in the absence of co-stimuli and non-specific activation of APCs which have not seen the antigen. pAPCs, like DCs, also regulate innate immune responses through the expression and activation of various pattern recognition receptors (PRR), like Toll-like receptors, NOD-like receptors and cytosolic DNA and/or RNA sensors.
Therefore, the most efficient way to mount a sustained immune response is to target antigens to APCs that trigger both innate and adaptive immune response. One option is to engineer vaccines that are able to combine PRR ligands with antigenic proteins and to deliver them via specific targeting. This targeting is considered an attractive approach to generate robust protective cellular responses against infectious diseases and cancer.
Previous work indicates that targeting of distinct cell subsets could be important in determining the outcome of the immune response. Depending on the localization, cell surface receptor and innate immune receptor expression, different cell subsets can influence the nature of adaptive immune responses. However, the choice of the cellular subtypes targeted in vivo and the functional specialization or the type of receptor chosen which can regulate T cell responses, remain poorly understood.
A more comprehensive view of the current targeting strategies regarding the correct choice of the target cell and of the receptors in the design of new antigenic formulations will enhance our understanding of the state and the perspective of targeted immunotherapy.
This Research Topic aims to provide an overview of:
• Currently used or up-coming strategies for targeting antigens of interest,
• Emerging approaches for simultaneous delivery of immunogenic molecules that can activate innate and adaptive responses,
• The nature and biology of the targeted cells involved and
• The molecular mechanisms that modulate the successful delivery of immunogenic molecules in order to generate an efficient immune response.
We thus welcome the submission of articles that cover, but are not limited to, the following topics:
1. Novel approaches of antigen targeting for immunotherapeutic strategies against cancer and/or infectious diseases.
2. Diversity and biology of dendritic cell subsets expressing different receptors object of targeting.
3. Combined strategies for the delivery of antigens and adjuvant molecules that stimulate innate immune responses and their influence on the quality of immune responses.
4. Role of receptor uptake and intracellular trafficking in antigen presentation.
5. Omics analyses to identify specific genes that regulate pathways involved in the activation of the targeted cell subsets.
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.