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Open Access Editorial [Hot Topics: Dendritic Cells of the Liver from Ontogenic Development to Cell-Based Immune Therapy (Guest Editor: Hiroto Kita)]

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As we have mentioned in previous editorials, Current Immunology Reviews has continued to focus on basic immunology and the interface with clinical immunology and immunopathology. The original research reviews published by CIR in recent years has been a great testament to the success of our efforts. However, in the past two years we also launched a more coordinated effort in this regard with the publishing of assembled reviews organized around timely Hot Topics in basic and clinical immunology. There have been several of these collections of articles around fascinating topics that could not easily be covered by single articles. The resulting Hot Topics collections are remarkable examples of how well a series of complementary articles around a single theme can provide multiple perspectives and a more comprehensive compilation of studies on the topic at hand. In my own case I would say that these collections have given me a much greater appreciation of the significance and complexity of these clinical immunology issues. In this respect, our Hot Topic initiative places CIR in an important role in the immunology literature.

In this first issue of the year, we have two prime examples of how the Hot Topics collections have succeeded. Dr. Hiroto Kita has brought together a series of articles on dendritic cells in the liver, and their role from early development to immunemediated pathology and finally to potential immunotherapy. The liver is such a remarkably critical organ in the immune system despite not being commonly classified as one of the primary lymphoid tissues; it is a locus for early hematopoietic stem cell growth, and also is a site where incredibly potent immunoregulatory mechanisms operate. The articles in this collection give us interesting perspectives on this topic as well as provide an outlook for future studies.

A second example is one of my favorite topics, Neural-Immune system interactions. Dr. Valter Lombardi has provided us with a series of articles that provide us with stories on ever more surprising connections between the immune system and nervous system functions. The articles here go well beyond the basic issues of immune system regulation of infection and inflammation in the nervous system.

This issue is also fortunate to have an article on a very timely topic, the expanding role of rituximab therapy in the treatment of autoimmune disease. While rituximab gains more notice for its potential in several immune-mediated diseases, it also points to an expanding appreciation for the central role of B lymphocytes in immune effector functions and regulation. Perhaps we are beginning to pull back just a bit from the popular T cell-centric view of the immune system!

In sum, I look forward to watching CIR move ahead in the coming year with even more interesting articles. As should be evident, I am impressed and excited by the diversity of fascinating articles submitted to CIR, especially the Hot Topics. As they used to say, keep the cards and letters coming!
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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  • Current Immunology Reviews publishes frontier reviews on all the latest advances in clinical immunology. The journal's aim is to publish the highest quality review articles dedicated to clinical research in the field. The journal is essential reading for all researchers and clinicians in clinical immunology.
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