Immunological synapse


Immunological synapse

The immunological synapse (IS) is a specialised cell-cell adhesion that mediates antigen acquisition and regulates the activation of lymphocytes. Initial studies of the IS showed a structure composed of stable supra-molecular activation clusters (SMAC) organised during the interaction of helper T lymphocytes with B lymphocytes, working as antigen presenting cells. A central SMAC of coalesced T cell receptors (TCRs) and a peripheral SMAC for cell-cell adhesion were observed. IS with similar structure was later described during antigen acquisition by B cells and during the interaction of NK cells with target and healthy cells. More recent research developed with microscopy systems that improve the spatial and temporal resolution has showed the complex molecular dynamics at the IS that governs lymphocyte activation. Currently, the IS is seen as a three-dimensional structure where signalling networks for lymphocyte activation and endosomal and cytoskeleton machinery are polarised. A view has emerged in which dynamic microclusters of signalling complexes are composed of molecular components attached to the plasma membrane and other components conveyed on sub-synaptic vesicles transported to the membrane by cytoskeletal fibers and motor proteins. Much information is nonetheless missing about how the dynamics of the endosomal compartment, the cytoskeleton, and signalling complexes are reciprocally regulated to achieve the function of lymphocytes. Experimental evidence also suggests that the environment surrounding lymphocytes exposed to different antigenic challenge regulates IS assembly and functional output, making an even more complex scenario still far from completely understood. Also, although some signalling molecular components for lymphocyte activation have been identified and thoroughly studied, the function of other molecules has not been yet uncovered or deeply characterised. This research topic aims to provide the reader with the latest information about the molecular dynamics governing lymphocyte activation and how the extracellular environment affects this process. These molecular dynamics dictate cell decisions. Thus, we expect that understanding them will provide new avenues for cell manipulation in therapies to treat different immune-related pathologies.

How we work:

  • After submission, an acknowledgement with manuscript number is sent to the corresponding author within 7 working days.
  • A 21 day window time frame is allotted for peer-review process wherein multiple experts are contacted.
  • Author proof is generated within 7 working days after the acceptance decision.

Benefits on Publication:

Open Access: Permanent free access to your article upon publication ensures extensive global reach and readership.

Easy Article Sharing: Our open access enables you to share your article directly with colleagues through email and on social media via a single link, permitting third party reuse with appropriate citation in addition to the retention of content copyright by the author.

Global Marketing: Through promotion in a targeted global email announcement or press release, your article will be seen by thousands of the top-most thought-leaders in your field.

Reprints: Distribute your work to colleagues and at conferences as we provide hard copy color reprints of your article on order.

Media Contact:
Stella M
Journal Manager
Immunome Research