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Nat Immunol. 2009 Jan;10(1):75-82. doi: 10.1038/ni.1681. Epub 2008 Nov 23.

Influence of the transcription factor RORgammat on the development of NKp46+ cell populations in gut and skin.

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Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy, Université de la Méditerranée, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, U631, 13288 Marseille, France.


NKp46+CD3- natural killer lymphocytes isolated from blood, lymphoid organs, lung, liver and uterus can produce granule-dependent cytotoxicity and interferon-gamma. Here we identify in dermis, gut lamina propria and cryptopatches distinct populations of NKp46+CD3- cells with a diminished capacity to degranulate and produce interferon-gamma. In the gut, expression of the transcription factor RORgammat, which is involved in the development of lymphoid tissue-inducer cells, defined a previously unknown subset of NKp46+CD3- lymphocytes. Unlike RORgammat- lamina propria and dermis natural killer cells, gut RORgammat+NKp46+ cells produced interleukin 22. Our data show that lymphoid tissue-inducer cells and natural killer cells shared unanticipated similarities and emphasize the heterogeneity of NKp46+CD3- cells in innate immunity, lymphoid organization and local tissue repair.

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