About this Research Topic
The oral mucosa is a challenging environment from an immunological perspective, containing discrete niches with a unique architecture and function that requires precise adjustment of the immune system. Being the port of entry to the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts, the oral cavity is also constantly challenged by antigens derived from air and food. Moreover, the oral cavity is the sole tissue of the body harboring a hard surface (i.e. the tooth) that is exposed to the hostile external environment, resulting in the formation of a complex biofilm that has local and systemic effects. To deal with such challenges, the oral immune system aims to prevent the invasion of pathogens/harmful antigens and to tolerate non-pathogenic counterparts in order to maintain homeostasis.
In recent years, numerous studies have addressed these fundamental issues, revealing sophisticated mechanisms engaged by the immune system to maintain oral mucosal homeostasis and to combat various immunological insults. Some of these studies have identified novel immunological mechanisms, emphasizing the uniqueness of the oral immune system and the necessity to further investigate its functions.
This Research Topic aims to provide a comprehensive overview of current research on the function of the oral immune system at steady state, and how it is modulated during disease, ageing and cancer. We welcome the submission of Original Research, Review and Mini-Review articles that cover, but are not limited to, the following topics:
1. Characterization of the oral mucosa immune system.
2. Maintenance of oral mucosal homeostasis.
3. Immunological functions of the oral epithelium.
4. Systemic effects associated with the oral mucosa.
5. Inflammation-induced oral diseases (e.g. periodontitis and peri-implantitis).
6. Tolerance induction in the oral mucosa.
7. Aging of the oral mucosa immune system.
8. Immune surveillance and oral cancers.
Keywords: Oral mucosa, Oral immunity, Oral cancer, Oral epithelium
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