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Environmental Triggers and Autoimmunity

Call for Papers

During the past decades a significant increase in the incidence of autoimmune disease has been observed worldwide. Autoimmunity arises when the host’s immune system is directed against self-tissue antigens. Accumulating evidence has suggested a close interplay between genetic factors and environmental triggers such as infections, toxicants and some dietary components in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. Consequently, since 1997 research and publications devoted to environmental triggers in autoimmunity has grown by an average of 7% every year.

The mechanisms by which environmental factors induce autoimmunity has been described variously as involving cross-reactivity, aberrant cell death, or the binding of toxicants to tissue proteins with the subsequent formation of neoantigens. To optimize the chances of therapeutic success, it is essential to first identify the environmental triggers and then remove them from the patient’s environment.

We invite researchers to contribute original and review articles that will focus on the roles that environmental triggers play in various autoimmune disorders. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Epigenetics of environmentally induced autoimmune disorders
  • Epidemiology of environmentally induced autoimmunity
  • Assessment of the impact of environmental factors on autoimmunity
  • Innate and adaptive immunity in the etiology of environmentally induced autoimmunity
  • Mechanisms of environmental (infections, toxic chemicals, and dietary proteins) influences on human autoimmunity
  • The roles of Th1, Th3, Th17, and B-cell activation in environmentally induced autoimmune disease
  • Modification of self-antigens by acetylation, lipidation, citrullination, and glycosylation induced by environmental factors in autoimmune diseases
  • Detection of antibodies against different environmental triggers for very early detection of autoimmune reactivities
  • Antibodies and other immune markers for the early detection of autoimmune disease
  • The role of diet modification and lifestyle changes in the improvement of autoimmune conditions (gluten-free diet and gluten sensitivity/celiac disease is only one example
  • The role of gut microbiota in the development of autoimmune diseases

Before submission authors should carefully read over the journal’s Author Guidelines, which are located at Prospective authors should submit an electronic copy of their complete manuscript through the journal Manuscript Tracking System at according to the following timetable:

Manuscript DueFriday, 24 January 2013
First Round of ReviewsFriday, 18 April 2013
Publication DateFriday, 13 June 2014

Lead Guest Editor

Guest Editors

  • Chaim O. Jacob, Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology and Immunology, Department of Medicine USC, USC, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • K. Michael Pollard, Dept.artment of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA