The Current Opinion journals were developed out of the recognition that it is increasingly difficult for specialists to keep up to date with the expanding volume of information published in their subject. Elsevier’s Current Opinion journals comprise of 17 leading titles in life sciences and adjacent fields.

Current Opinion in Immunology

5-Year Impact Factor: 7.572
Issues per year: 6 issues
Editorial Board

Current Opinion in Immunology

Current Opinion in Immunology is a systematic review journal that aims to provide specialists with a unique and educational platform to keep up-to-date with the expanding volume of information published in the field of immunology. It consists of 6 issues per year covering the following 12 sections, each of which is reviewed once a year:

  • Innate immunity
  • Tumour immunology
  • Lymphocyte development and activation
  • Antigen processing
  • Vaccines
  • Allergy and hypersensitivity
  • Host pathogens
  • Autoimmunity

There are also two sections that change every year to reflect hot topics in the field.

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Best Cited over the last year.

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Targeting the PD-1/B7-H1(PD-L1) pathway to activate anti-tumor immunity

Genetic alterations and epigenetic dysregulation in cancer cells create a vast array of neoepitopes potentially recognizable by the immune system. Immune checkpoint blockade has the capacity to enhance and sustain endogenous immunity against non-mutated tumor-associated antigens as well as uniquely mutant antigens, establishing durable tumor control. Recent evidence from preclinical models highlights the pivotal role of the Programmed Death-1 (PD-1) T cell co-receptor and its ligands,…

Volume 24, Issue 2, 01 April 2012, Pp 207-212
Suzanne L. Topalian | Charles G. Drake | Drew M. Pardoll

IL-2 family cytokines: New insights into the complex roles of IL-2 as a broad regulator of T helper cell differentiation

Interleukin-2 (IL-2) is a pleiotropic cytokine that drives T-cell growth, augments NK cytolytic activity, induces the differentiation of regulatory T cells, and mediates activation-induced cell death. Along with IL-4, IL-7, IL-9, IL-15, and IL-21, IL-2 shares the common cytokine receptor γ chain, γ c, which is mutated in humans with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency. Herein, we primarily focus on the recently discovered complex roles of IL-2 in broadly modulating T cells for T helper…

Volume 23, Issue 5, 01 October 2011, Pp 598-604
Wei Liao | Jian Xin Lin | Warren J. Leonard

Electroporation delivery of DNA vaccines: Prospects for success

A number of noteworthy technology advances in DNA vaccines research and development over the past few years have led to the resurgence of this field as a viable vaccine modality. Notably, these include - optimization of DNA constructs; development of new DNA manufacturing processes and formulations; augmentation of immune responses with novel encoded molecular adjuvants; and the improvement in new in vivo delivery strategies including electroporation (EP). Of these, EP mediated delivery has…

Volume 23, Issue 3, 01 June 2011, Pp 421-429
Niranjan Y. Sardesai | David B. Weiner

Autophagy as an innate immunity paradigm: Expanding the scope and repertoire of pattern recognition receptors

Autophagy is rapidly developing into a new immunological paradigm. The latest links now include overlaps between autophagy and innate immune signaling via TBK-1 and IKKα/β, and the role of autophagy in inflammation directed by the inflammasome. Autophagy's innate immunity connections include responses to pathogen and damage-associated molecular patterns including alarmins such as HMGB1 and IL-1β, Toll-like receptors, Nod-like receptors including NLRC4, NLRP3 and NLRP4, and RIG-I-like receptors.…

Volume 24, Issue 1, 01 February 2012, Pp 21-31
Vojo Deretic

Recent advances in the IL-17 cytokine family

The IL-17/IL-17 receptor family is the newest and least understood of the cytokine subclasses. Composed of ligands IL-17A-IL-17F and receptors IL-17RA-IL-17RE, these cytokines have many unique structural and functional features. Since the discovery of the 'Th17' subset in 2005, particular attention has been paid to IL-17A and IL-17F and their cognate receptors. To date, far less is known about the rest of the family. This review discusses recent advances in the field, with an emphasis on IL-17A…

Volume 23, Issue 5, 01 October 2011, Pp 613-619
Sarah L. Gaffen

Helper T cell diversity and plasticity

CD4 + helper T cells play crucial roles for host defense and immune-mediated disease by their ability to differentiate into specialized subsets. These subsets attain restricted patterns of cytokine secretion and specific expression of master transcription factors in response to microbial pathogens. Classically, the various helper CD4 + T cell subsets have been viewed as terminally differentiated lineages with limited flexibility. However, following the recognition of new subsets, there is…

Volume 24, Issue 3, 01 June 2012, Pp 297-302
Shingo Nakayamada | Hayato Takahashi | Yuka Kanno | John J. O'Shea

Innate immune DNA sensing pathways: STING, AIMII and the regulation of interferon production and inflammatory responses

The early detection of microbes is the responsibility of the innate immune system which has evolved to sense pathogen derived molecules such as lipopolysaccharides and non-self nucleic acid, to trigger host defense countermeasures. These sensors include the RIG-I-like helicase (RLH) family that specifically recognizes viral RNA, as well as the cytoplasmic, nucleotide binding oligermerization domain (NOD)-like receptor and Toll-like receptor (TLR) pathways that sense a variety of microbial…

Volume 23, Issue 1, 01 February 2011, Pp 10-20
Glen N. Barber

The many faces of Th17 cells

Th17 cells have been shown to be strong inducers of tissue inflammation and autoimmune diseases. However, not all Th17 cells are pathogenic and increasing data suggest that Th17 cells may come in different flavors. Thus, Th17 cells cannot be described using a narrow schematic, but instead Th17 cells comprise a wide spectrum with a range of effector phenotypes. Here, we review the key factors that generate such diversity, as well as the cytokines and transcription factors that are differentially…

Volume 23, Issue 6, 01 December 2011, Pp 702-706
Anneli Peters | Youjin Lee | Vijay K. Kuchroo

New insights into cancer immunoediting and its three component phases-elimination, equilibrium and escape

The principles of cancer immunoediting have set the foundations for understanding the dual host-protective and tumor sculpting actions of immunity on cancer and establishing the basis for novel individualized cancer immunotherapies. During cancer immunoediting, the host immune system shapes tumor fate in three phases through the activation of innate and adaptive immune mechanisms. In the first phase, Elimination, transformed cells are destroyed by a competent immune system. Sporadic tumor cells…

Volume 27, Issue 1, 01 April 2014, Pp 16-25
Deepak Mittal | Matthew M. Gubin | Robert D. Schreiber | Mark J. Smyth

Tripartite-motif proteins and innate immune regulation

The tripartite motif containing (TRIM) proteins are a family of proteins that have been implicated in many biological processes including cell differentiation, apoptosis, transcriptional regulation and signaling pathways. Many TRIM proteins are upregulated by the immunologically important Type I and Type II interferons and several, including TRIM5α and TRIM19/PML, restrict viral replication. There is growing evidence that TRIMs also play an important role in the broader immune response through…

Volume 23, Issue 1, 01 February 2011, Pp 46-56
Finlay W. McNab | Ricardo Rajsbaum | Jonathan P. Stoye | Anne O'Garra

Viral vectors as vaccine platforms: Deployment in sight

A little more than a decade after the explosion of research into recombinant live-attenuated or replication-deficient viruses as vaccine platforms, many viral vector-based vaccines have been licensed for animals. Progress has been slower for humans but 2011 will see the licensure of the first viral-vectored vaccine for humans, against Japanese Encephalitis. In addition a vaccine with a viral-vectored component showed efficacy against HIV infection in humans. Viral-based vaccines have an…

Volume 23, Issue 3, 01 June 2011, Pp 377-382
Christine S. Rollier | Arturo Reyes-Sandoval | Matthew G. Cottingham | Katie Ewer | Adrian V S Hill


For decades, type I IFNs have been considered indispensable and unique antiviral mediators for the activation of rapid innate antiviral protection. However, the recent discovery of type III IFNs is challenging this paradigm. Since their identification in 2002/2003 by two independent groups, type III IFNs or IFN-λs, also known as IL-28/29, have been the subject of increased study with consequent recognition of their importance in virology and immunology. Initial reports suggested that IFN-λs…

Volume 23, Issue 5, 01 October 2011, Pp 583-590
Sergei V. Kotenko

New developments in the induction and antiviral effectors of type I interferon

Type I interferons (IFNs) are cytokines of the innate immune system that induce antiviral protein expression in response to viral infection. Various proteins and pathways have been shown to recognize nucleic acid ligands especially from RNA viruses. Here, we will review recent developments including transcription of DNA virus genomes into RNA ligands, and the recognition of viruses by TLR2 for interferon induction. The induced IFNs activate many interferon stimulated genes (ISGs) that have…

Volume 23, Issue 1, 01 February 2011, Pp 57-64
Su Yang Liu | David Jesse Sanchez | Genhong Cheng

The pathogenesis of influenza virus infections: The contributions of virus and host factors

Influenza viruses cause acute respiratory inflammation in humans and symptoms such as high fever, body aches, and fatigue. Usually these symptoms improve after several days; however, the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus [influenza A(H1N1) 2009] is more pathogenic than seasonal influenza viruses and the pathogenicity of highly pathogenic H5N1 viruses is still higher. The 1918 influenza pandemic virus caused severe pneumonia, resulting in an estimated 50 million deaths worldwide. Several…

Volume 23, Issue 4, 01 August 2011, Pp 481-486
Satoshi Fukuyama | Yoshihiro Kawaoka

Orchestrating the interferon antiviral response through the mitochondrial antiviral signaling (MAVS) adapter

Sensing of RNA virus infection by the RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs) engages a complex signaling cascade that utilizes the mitochondrial antiviral signaling (MAVS) adapter protein to orchestrate the innate host response to pathogen, ultimately leading to the induction of antiviral and inflammatory responses mediated by type I interferon (IFN) and NF-κB pathways. MAVS is localized to the outer mitochondrial membrane, and has been associated with peroxisomes, the endoplasmic reticulum and…

Volume 23, Issue 5, 01 October 2011, Pp 564-572
S. Mehdi Belgnaoui | Suzanne Paz | John Hiscott

Regulatory T cells in cancer immunotherapy

FOXP3+CD25+CD4+ regulatory T (Treg) cells, crucial for the maintenance of immunological self-tolerance, are abundant in tumors. Most of them are chemo-attracted to tumor tissues, expanding locally and differentiating into a Treg-cell subpopulation that strongly suppresses the activation and expansion of tumor-antigen-specific effector T cells. Several cancer immunotherapies targeting FOXP3+CD4+ Treg cells, including depletion of Treg cells, are currently being tested in the clinic. In addition,…

Volume 27, Issue 1, 01 April 2014, Pp 1-7
Hiroyoshi Nishikawa | Shimon Sakaguchi

Regulation of innate immunity by signaling pathways emerging from the endoplasmic reticulum

The innate immune system has evolved the capacity to detect specific pathogens and to interrogate cell and tissue integrity in order to mount an appropriate immune response. Loss of homeostasis in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) triggers the ER-stress response, a hallmark of many inflammatory and infectious diseases. The IRE1/XBP1 branch of the ER-stress signaling pathway has been recently shown to regulate and be regulated by innate immune signaling pathways in both the presence and absence of…

Volume 23, Issue 1, 01 February 2011, Pp 35-40
Fabio Martinon | Laurie H. Glimcher

Regulatory T cells in stem cell transplantation: Strategies and first clinical experiences

The adoptive transfer of donor-type CD4 +CD25 +FOXP3 + regulatory T cells (Treg) protects from graft-versus-host disease in murine bone marrow transplantation models. Results from first clinical trials exploring such strategies have recently been presented and seem to confirm the efficacy of Treg for the prevention of this severe complication after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Further improvements in Treg isolation and in vitro expansion technologies will facilitate the broader…

Volume 23, Issue 5, 01 October 2011, Pp 679-684
Matthias Edinger | Petra Hoffmann

T cell anergy, exhaustion, senescence, and stemness in the tumor microenvironment

Human tumors progress despite the presence of tumor associated antigen (TAA)-specific T cells. Many different molecular and cellular mechanisms contribute to the failure of T cells to eradicate the tumor. These include immune suppressive networks that impair ongoing T cell function and enable tumor escape. Recent studies have started to reveal the nature of effector T cells in the tumor microenvironment. In this article we discuss T cell anergy, exhaustion, senescence, and stemness, and review…

Volume 25, Issue 2, 01 April 2013, Pp 214-221
Joel Crespo | Haoyu Sun | Theodore H. Welling | Zhigang Tian | Weiping Zou

The CD47-SIRPα pathway in cancer immune evasion and potential therapeutic implications

Multiple lines of investigation have demonstrated that the immune system plays an important role in preventing tumor initiation and controlling tumor growth. Accordingly, many cancers have evolved diverse mechanisms to evade such monitoring. While multiple immune cell types mediate tumor surveillance, recent evidence demonstrates that macrophages, and other phagocytic cells, play a key role in regulating tumor growth through phagocytic clearance. In this review we highlight the role of tumor…

Volume 24, Issue 2, 01 April 2012, Pp 225-232
Mark P. Chao | Irving L. Weissman | Ravindra Majeti

T H17 cytokines in autoimmune neuro-inflammation

It has been firmly established that IL-23 polarized T H17 cells are potent effectors in the pathogenesis of experimental autoimmune encephalitomyelitis (EAE). However, the relative importance of these cells in comparison to other encephalitogenic T H subsets, and the mechanisms that they employ to effect inflammatory demyelination, are topics of continuing investigation. Interestingly, deletion of individual 'T H17 cytokines', such as IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-22 and IL-21, does not phenocopy the…

Volume 23, Issue 6, 01 December 2011, Pp 707-712
Burkhard Becher | Benjamin M. Segal

Pathobionts of the gastrointestinal microbiota and inflammatory disease

Our immune system is charged with the vital mission of identifying invading pathogens and mounting proper inflammatory responses. During the process of clearing infections, the immune system often causes considerable tissue damage. Conversely, if the target of immunity is a member of the resident microbiota, uncontrolled inflammation may lead to host pathology in the absence of infectious agents. Recent evidence suggests that several inflammatory disorders may be caused by specific bacterial…

Volume 23, Issue 4, 01 August 2011, Pp 473-480
Janet Chow | Haiqing Tang | Sarkis K. Mazmanian

Dengue vaccines: Progress and challenges

With several dengue vaccine candidates progressing through clinical trials, several options for controlling this disease appear feasible. This would represent a major achievement and reflect decades of research and development activities. The challenges associated with the limited understanding of protective responses and those factors which determine disease severity remain, but with prospective studies ongoing in various dengue endemic areas and the initiation of dengue vaccine efficacy…

Volume 23, Issue 3, 01 June 2011, Pp 391-398
Beth Ann G Coller | David E. Clements

Regulation of innate and adaptive immunity by the commensal microbiota

The microbial communities that inhabit the intestinal tract are essential for mammalian health. Communication between the microbiota and the host establishes and maintains immune homeostasis, enabling protective immune responses against pathogens while preventing adverse inflammatory responses to harmless commensal microbes. Specific bacteria, such as segmented filamentous bacteria, Clostridium species, and Bacteroides fragilis, are key contributors to immune homeostasis in the gut. The…

Volume 23, Issue 3, 01 June 2011, Pp 353-360
Irene Jarchum | Eric G. Pamer

Molecular profiling to identify relevant immune resistance mechanisms in the tumor microenvironment

The molecular identification of tumor antigens initially catalyzed substantial enthusiasm for the development of tumor antigen-based vaccines for the treatment of cancer. However, numerous vaccine approaches in melanoma and other cancers have yielded a low rate of clinical response, despite frequent induction of specific T cells as detected in the peripheral blood. This observation has prompted several investigators to begin interrogating the tumor microenvironment for biologic correlates to…

Volume 23, Issue 2, 01 April 2011, Pp 286-292
Thomas F. Gajewski | Mercedes Fuertes | Robbert Spaapen | Yan Zheng | Justin Kline