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Never-resting microglia: physiological roles in the healthy brain and pathological implications

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193691 Year: Pages: 172 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-369-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-11-19 16:29:12
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Microglia are largely known as the major orchestrators of the brain inflammatory response. As such, they have been traditionally studied in various contexts of disease, where their activation has been assumed to induce a wide range of detrimental effects. In the last few years, a series of discoveries have challenged the current view of microglia, showing their active and positive contribution to normal brain function. This Research Topic reviewed the novel physiological roles of microglia in the developing, mature and aging brain, under non-pathological conditions. In particular, this Research Topic discussed the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which microglia contribute to the formation, pruning and plasticity of synapses; the regulation of adult neurogenesis as well as hippocampal learning and memory; among other important roles. Because these novel findings defy our understanding of microglial function in health as much as in disease, this Research Topic also summarized the current view of microglial nomenclature, phenotypes, origin and differentiation, and contribution to various brain pathologies. Additionally, novel imaging approaches and molecular tools to study microglia in their non-activated state have been discussed. In conclusion, this Research Topic sought to emphasize how the current research in neuroscience is challenged by never-resting microglia.

Cellular and Phenotypic Plasticity in Cancer

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889196623 Year: Pages: 77 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-662-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Medicine (General) --- Oncology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-08-16 10:34:25
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The process of Epithelial-Mesenchymal-Transition (EMT) is known to result in a phenotype change in cells from a proliferative state to a more invasive state. EMT has been reported to drive the metastatic spread of various cancers and has also been associated with drug resistance to cytotoxics and targeted therapeutics. Recently phenotype switching akin to EMT has been reported in non-epithelial cancers such as metastatic melanoma. This process involves changes in EMT-Transcription Factors (EMT-TFs), suggesting that phenotype-switching may be common to several tumour types. It remains unclear as to whether the presence of both Epilthelial-like and Mesenchymal-like cells are a pre-requisite for phenotype switching within a tumour, how this heterogeneity is regulated, and if alteration of cell phenotype is sufficient to mediate migratory changes, or whether drivers of cell migration result in an associated phenotype switch in cancer cells. Similarly it has yet to be clarified if cells in an altered phenotype can be refractory to drug therapy or whether mediators of drug resistance induce a concurrent phenotypic change. Little is known today about the underlying genetic, epigenetic and transient changes that accompany this phenotypic switch and about the role for the tumor micro-environment in influencing it. Hence this is currently an area of speculation and keen interest in the Oncology field with wide-ranging translational implications. In this Frontiers Research Topic, we discuss our current understanding of these concepts in various cancer types including breast cancer, colorectal cancer and metastatic melanoma. This topic covers how these processes of cellular and phenotypic plasticity are regulated and how they relate to cancer initiation, progression, dormancy, metastases and response to cytotoxics or targeted therapies.

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