The extracellular matrix and the immune system: A mutually dependent relationship

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Abstract

For decades, immunologists have studied the role of circulating immune cells in host protection, with a more recent appreciation of immune cells resident within the tissue microenvironment and the intercommunication between nonhematopoietic cells and immune cells. However, the extracellular matrix (ECM), which comprises at least a third of tissue structures, remains relatively underexplored in immunology. Similarly, matrix biologists often overlook regulation of complex structural matrices by the immune system. We are only beginning to understand the scale at which ECM structures determine immune cell localization and function. Additionally, we need to better understand how immune cells dictate ECM complexity. This review aims to highlight the potential for biological discovery at the interface of immunology and matrix biology.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScience
Volume379
Issue number6633
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2023

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