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Special Issue "Immunological Nudging – Maintaining Vigilance and Reactivity"

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: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Gysbert-Botho van Setten
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dept. of Clin Neurosciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Interests: ophthalmology; wound healing; inflammation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Immunology is regulated with regulatory systems that are fine-tuned in a constant homeostasis. The prerequisite of the ability to react immediately as needed in this system of defense is a constant availability of regulative mechanisms turning on and off in interaction with each other. Swift effective response requires anticipation. Only by constant availability of all components necessary for effective functionality of each regulatory unit is a swift immunological response in full coordination with all regulatory units possible. It is suggested to introduce the term immunological nudging, for the constant subclinical external stimuli that keep all components of the system in good functional condition and reactive capacity. Due to the constant soft push on the activation of autoregulatory mechanisms, such immunological nudging guarantees the availability of immediate immunological response ability by constantly, usually subclinically, activating and silencing each regulatory unit. It is suggested that the constant activation and deactivation of major regulatory circuits in perfect harmony maintains the readiness to immediate immunological reaction.

This Special Issue aims at gathering new research results supporting the concept of immunological nudging to broaden our understanding about adequate immunotherapy, avoiding overtreatment and identifying thresholds to adjust therapy to optimize immunological recovery.

The intention of this volume is to gather the known scientific evidence for the existence of such a regulatory immunological principle and open ways to preserve it even during immunosuppressive or anti-inflammatory treatment.

Authors are invited to submit their original research and review articles.

The following topics are relevant to this Special Issue:

  • Examples of immunological homeostasis in human and veterinary medicine;
  • Biochemical characterization of components engaged in the control of immunological responses;
  • Clinical studies giving evidence for constant immunological activity in tissues;
  • Structural and functional comparison of immunological homeostasis in different organisms;
  • Proposals of effective immunosuppressive or anti-inflammatory treatment avoiding or minimizing incapacitation of immunological reactivity;
  • Methods and treatments of reconstituting immunological homeostasis after intense immunosuppressive or anti-inflammatory treatment regimens;
  • Studies giving evidence for the importance of neuronal functionality and neurophysiology in immunological homeostasis and nudging;
  • Other relevant topics are encouraged and may be suggested.

Prof. Dr. Gysbert-Botho van Setten
Guest Editor

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 papers will be 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.


  • Immunology
  • Inflammatory response
  • Homeostasis
  • Silencing
  • Activation
  • Nudging
  • Surface tissues
  • Neurophysiology
  • Immunosuppression
  • Immunomodulation
  • Mediators
  • Therapy
  • Structure and function relationship

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Contribution of the Commensal Microflora to the Immunological Homeostasis and the Importance of Immune-Related Drug Development for Clinical Applications
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(16), 8896; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22168896 - 18 Aug 2021
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Not long ago, self-reactive immune activity was considered as pathological trait. A paradigm shift has now led to the recognition of autoimmune processes as part of natural maintenance of molecular homeostasis. The immune system is assigned further roles beneath the defense against pathogenic [...] Read more.
Not long ago, self-reactive immune activity was considered as pathological trait. A paradigm shift has now led to the recognition of autoimmune processes as part of natural maintenance of molecular homeostasis. The immune system is assigned further roles beneath the defense against pathogenic organisms. Regarding the humoral immune system, the investigation of natural autoantibodies that are frequently found in healthy individuals has led to further hypotheses involving natural autoimmunity in other processes as the clearing of cellular debris or decrease in inflammatory processes. However, their role and origin have not been entirely clarified, but accumulating evidence links their formation to immune reactions against the gut microbiome. Antibodies targeting highly conserved proteins of the commensal microflora are suggested to show self-reactive properties, following the paradigm of the molecular mimicry. Here, we discuss recent findings, which demonstrate potential links of the commensal microflora to the immunological homeostasis and highlight the possible implications for various diseases. Furthermore, specific components of the immune system, especially antibodies, have become a focus of attention for the medical management of various diseases and provide attractive treatment options in the future. Nevertheless, the development and optimization of such macromolecules still represents a very time-consuming task, shifting the need to more medical agents with simple structural properties and low manufacturing costs. Synthesizing only the biologically active sites of antibodies has become of great interest for the pharmaceutical industry and offers a wide range of therapeutic application areas as it will be discussed in the present review article. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunological Nudging – Maintaining Vigilance and Reactivity)
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