Research Topic

The regulation of calcium homeostasis in T lymphocytes

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The process of T lymphocyte activation has always been a focus of interest in immunology. It determines the course of normal immune function and plays a substantial role in the development of immunological disorders. Calcium is an important messenger through which the kinetics of lymphocyte activation is ...

The process of T lymphocyte activation has always been a focus of interest in immunology. It determines the course of normal immune function and plays a substantial role in the development of immunological disorders. Calcium is an important messenger through which the kinetics of lymphocyte activation is regulated, and plays an essential role in T lymphocyte homeostasis, proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. This essential signaling pathway, involving both intracellular calcium release and calcium entry from the extracellular space has gained increasing attention over the recent decades.

Dynamic alterations of cytoplasmic calcium levels are coordinated by finely tuned cellular mechanisms responsible for the elevation and decrease of calcium. Over the recent years, we have gained insight into the molecular basis of the machinery that is responsible for the storage and release of intracellular calcium as well as for the uptake of extracellular calcium. Several techniques evolved that enable accurate real-time monitoring of the kinetics and regulation of calcium homeostasis and lymphocyte activation, offering valuable information on T lymphocyte function following activation. Mathematical models have also been developed that help a better understanding of calcium movement and fuel more focused research to reach a deeper understanding of key players and aspects of calcium homeostasis.

The relationship between calcium signals and disorders of the immune system is also receiving growing attention. Influencing the actual distribution and availability of cytoplasmic free calcium ions via modulation of the above mechanisms might provide novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of immune-mediated disease. The complex roles and expression of calcium channel families in different subpopulations of T cells will contribute to the possibility of selective inhibition of a particular T cell subset at a given stage of differentiation, leading to more specific immunosuppressive strategies compared with current immunomodulatory agents.

In this Research Topic, we aim to approach the regulation of calcium homeostasis in T lymphocytes and the role of calcium in the function of T cells under normal and pathologic conditions from several different aspects. We aim to gather current knowledge on calcium handling of T lymphocytes in order to enhance future research and the elaboration of potential therapeutic strategies for the benefit of patients with immune-mediated disorders.


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