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Osteoimmunology: Interactions of the Immune and Skeletal Systems

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It has been almost 40 years since it was fi rst observed that cells of the immune system could in fl uence the functions of bone [ 1 ] . Since that time, signi fi cant strides have been made in our understanding of the interactions between hematopoietic, immune, and bone cells. This fi eld is now known as “osteoimmunology,” which is a term that was fi rst coined by Arron and Choi in an commentary in Nature in 2000 [ 2 ]. In the 11 years since the fi eld has grown markedly. PubMed now lists over 2,000 references that combine the terms immunology with osteoclasts or osteoblasts. The 3rd International Conference on Osteoimmunology was designed to further nurture the development of this fi eld. It met at the Nomikos Conference Center Fira, Santorini, Greece, from June 20 to 25, 2010. Over 145 participants heard a rich program that was composed of 22 half hour talks and 11 short 10-min talks. In addition, there were 65 abstracts presented as posters. The subjects covered in these presentations spanned all the current topic areas of this fi eld. Talks were divided into sessions. These included Niche and Soil, three session on the Basic Concepts of Osteoimmunology: Osteoblasts, Osteoclasts and Cross Talk, and a session on emerging areas entitled “Up and Coming.”

However, the most important function of this meeting was to bring together researchers from the sometimes-disparate fi elds of immunology and bone biology so that they could interact, exchange ideas, and develop new collaborations. The Organizing Committee for this meeting is deeply indebted to its many sponsors in both the public and private sector who provided the resources that made the meeting an overwhelming success.
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