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Immunology. 2011 Apr;132(4):453-65. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2567.2011.03410.x.

Control of epithelial cell function by interleukin-22-producing RORγt+ innate lymphoid cells.

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IMMH, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.


It is rapidly emerging that the defence system of innate lymphocytes is more diverse than previously recognized. In addition to natural killer (NK) cells, lymphoid tissue inducer (LTi) cells, and natural helper cells have now been identified. LTi cells are developmentally dependent on the orphan transcription factor RORγt and instruct lymph node development during embryogenesis. More recently, it has become evident, that in addition to their role for lymph organ development, LTi cells are also potent producers of cytokines such as interleukin-22 (IL-22) and IL-17 in adult mice. In addition to LTi cells, another RORγt-dependent innate lymphocyte subset co-expressing RORγt and NK cell receptors (NKRs) has been identified. These NKR(+) RORγt(+) cells are also potent producers of IL-22 but it is unclear whether they are part of the NK cell or LTi cell lineage. This review will highlight recent progress in understanding development and function of innate IL-22-producing lymphocyte subsets.

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