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State-of-the-Art Molecular Immunology in Italy

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Immunology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2023) | Viewed by 12979

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Foggia, 71121 Foggia, Italy
Interests: clinical nephrology; hemodialysis; kidney transplantation; dialysis; chronic renal failure; transplantation; renal; kidney; chronic kidney failure; peritoneal dialysis; renal disease; organ transplantation; kidney disease; fibrosis; transplant immunology; COVID-19
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Guest Editor
1. Department of Gynecologic Oncology, ARNAS G.Brotzu, 09124 Cagliari, Italy
2. Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Cagliari, 09124 Cagliari, Italy
Interests: ovarian cancer; laparoscopic surgery; immune system and immunotherapy; inflammation; macrophages; cytokines; cancer cachexia; cancer-related anemia
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
1. Department of Biomedical Sciences, Humanitas University, Via Rita Levi Montalcini 4, Pieve Emanuele, 20072 Milano, Italy
2. IRCCS Humanitas Research Hospital, Via Manzoni 56, 20089 Rozzano, Italy
Interests: high risk pregnancy; recurrent miscarriage; preterm birth; preeclampsia; autoimmune diseases in pregnancy; diabetes in pregnancy; infertility; menopause
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A large number of research teams in Italy from different institutions and universities are currently working together to study the molecular mechanisms of immunity, immunogenetics and/or immunopathogenesis. This Special Issue of the International Journal of Molecular Sciences (IJMS) aims to rapidly publish original contributions addressing questions of importance in immunology and related fields from Italy. We welcome manuscripts conveying novel experimental findings that would advance the understanding of molecular mechanisms of immunity, immunogenetics and/or immunopathogenesis. Manuscripts reporting the development or testing of novel therapeutics that target molecular mechanisms are also welcomed.

Prof. Dr. Gianluigi Zaza
Dr. Mirko Pesce
Prof. Dr. Antonio Maccio
Prof. Dr. Nicoletta Di Simone
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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13 pages, 2041 KiB  
Article
Anti-Spike Antibodies Present in the Milk of SARS-CoV-2 Vaccinated Mothers Are Complement-Activating
by Chiara Agostinis, Miriam Toffoli, Andrea Balduit, Alessandro Mangogna, Hadida Yasmin, Chiara Ragazzon, Silvia Pegoraro, Giuseppina Campisciano, Guglielmo Stabile, Gabriella Zito, Uday Kishore, Manola Comar, Federica Scrimin, Roberta Bulla and Giuseppe Ricci
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(5), 4395; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24054395 - 23 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1539
Abstract
Although only 0.8–1% of SARS-CoV-2 infections are in the 0–9 age-group, pneumonia is still the leading cause of infant mortality globally. Antibodies specifically directed against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S) are produced during severe COVID-19 manifestations. Following vaccination, specific antibodies are also detected in [...] Read more.
Although only 0.8–1% of SARS-CoV-2 infections are in the 0–9 age-group, pneumonia is still the leading cause of infant mortality globally. Antibodies specifically directed against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S) are produced during severe COVID-19 manifestations. Following vaccination, specific antibodies are also detected in the milk of breastfeeding mothers. Since antibody binding to viral antigens can trigger activation of the complement classical - pathway, we investigated antibody-dependent complement activation by anti-S immunoglobulins (Igs) present in breast milk following SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. This was in view of the fact that complement could play a fundamentally protective role against SARS-CoV-2 infection in newborns. Thus, 22 vaccinated, lactating healthcare and school workers were enrolled, and a sample of serum and milk was collected from each woman. We first tested for the presence of anti-S IgG and IgA in serum and milk of breastfeeding women by ELISA. We then measured the concentration of the first subcomponents of the three complement pathways (i.e., C1q, MBL, and C3) and the ability of anti-S Igs detected in milk to activate the complement in vitro. The current study demonstrated that vaccinated mothers have anti-S IgG in serum as well as in breast milk, which is capable of activating complement and may confer a protective benefit to breastfed newborns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Molecular Immunology in Italy)
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Review

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17 pages, 1449 KiB  
Review
Towards a Unified Approach in Autoimmune Fibrotic Signalling Pathways
by Margherita Sisto and Sabrina Lisi
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(10), 9060; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24109060 - 21 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1383
Abstract
Autoimmunity is a chronic process resulting in inflammation, tissue damage, and subsequent tissue remodelling and organ fibrosis. In contrast to acute inflammatory reactions, pathogenic fibrosis typically results from the chronic inflammatory reactions characterizing autoimmune diseases. Despite having obvious aetiological and clinical outcome distinctions, [...] Read more.
Autoimmunity is a chronic process resulting in inflammation, tissue damage, and subsequent tissue remodelling and organ fibrosis. In contrast to acute inflammatory reactions, pathogenic fibrosis typically results from the chronic inflammatory reactions characterizing autoimmune diseases. Despite having obvious aetiological and clinical outcome distinctions, most chronic autoimmune fibrotic disorders have in common a persistent and sustained production of growth factors, proteolytic enzymes, angiogenic factors, and fibrogenic cytokines, which together stimulate the deposition of connective tissue elements or epithelial to mesenchymal transformation (EMT) that progressively remodels and destroys normal tissue architecture leading to organ failure. Despite its enormous impact on human health, there are currently no approved treatments that directly target the molecular mechanisms of fibrosis. The primary goal of this review is to discuss the most recent identified mechanisms of chronic autoimmune diseases characterized by a fibrotic evolution with the aim to identify possible common and unique mechanisms of fibrogenesis that might be exploited in the development of effective antifibrotic therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Molecular Immunology in Italy)
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13 pages, 1243 KiB  
Review
Antiphospholipid Syndrome in Pregnancy: New and Old Pathogenetic Mechanisms
by Silvia D’Ippolito, Greta Barbaro, Carmela Paciullo, Chiara Tersigni, Giovanni Scambia and Nicoletta Di Simone
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(4), 3195; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24043195 - 06 Feb 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 5751
Abstract
The antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is a systemic autoimmune disorder characterized, according to the Sydney criteria, by the persistent presence of autoantibodies directed against phospholipid-binding proteins associated with thrombosis and/or obstetrical complications. The most frequent complications in obstetric antiphospholipid syndrome are recurrent pregnancy losses [...] Read more.
The antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is a systemic autoimmune disorder characterized, according to the Sydney criteria, by the persistent presence of autoantibodies directed against phospholipid-binding proteins associated with thrombosis and/or obstetrical complications. The most frequent complications in obstetric antiphospholipid syndrome are recurrent pregnancy losses and premature birth due to placental insufficiency or severe preeclampsia. In recent years, vascular APS (VAPS) and obstetric APS (OAPS) have been described as two different clinical entities. In VAPS, antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) interfere with the mechanisms of coagulation cascade and the ‘two hit hypothesis’ has been suggested to explain why aPL positivity does not always lead to thrombosis. OAPS seems to involve additional mechanisms, such as the direct action of anti-β2 glycoprotein-I on trophoblast cells that can lead to a direct placental functional damage. Furthermore, new actors seem to play a role in the pathogenesis of OAPS, including extracellular vesicles, micro-RNAs and the release of neutrophil extracellular traps. The aim of this review is to investigate the state-of-the-art antiphospholipid syndrome pathogenesis in pregnancy, in order to provide a comprehensive overview of both old and new pathogenetic mechanisms involved in this complex disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Molecular Immunology in Italy)
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19 pages, 2639 KiB  
Review
Immune Checkpoint Receptors Signaling in T Cells
by Gianluca Baldanzi
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(7), 3529; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23073529 - 24 Mar 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3517
Abstract
The characterization of the receptors negatively modulating lymphocyte function is rapidly advancing, driven by success in tumor immunotherapy. As a result, the number of immune checkpoint receptors characterized from a functional perspective and targeted by innovative drugs continues to expand. This review focuses [...] Read more.
The characterization of the receptors negatively modulating lymphocyte function is rapidly advancing, driven by success in tumor immunotherapy. As a result, the number of immune checkpoint receptors characterized from a functional perspective and targeted by innovative drugs continues to expand. This review focuses on the less explored area of the signaling mechanisms of these receptors, of those expressed in T cells. Studies conducted mainly on PD-1, CTLA-4, and BTLA have evidenced that the extracellular parts of some of the receptors act as decoy receptors for activating ligands, but in all instances, the tyrosine phosphorylation of their cytoplasmatic tail drives a crucial inhibitory signal. This negative signal is mediated by a few key signal transducers, such as tyrosine phosphatase, inositol phosphatase, and diacylglycerol kinase, which allows them to counteract TCR-mediated activation. The characterization of these signaling pathways is of great interest in the development of therapies for counteracting tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte exhaustion/anergy independently from the receptors involved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Molecular Immunology in Italy)
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