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Immunity. 2012 Oct 19;37(4):601-10. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2012.10.003.

Innate lymphoid cell interactions with microbiota: implications for intestinal health and disease.

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Department of Microbiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 19104, USA.


The mammalian intestine harbors trillions of beneficial commensal bacteria that are essential for the development of the immune system and for maintenance of physiologic processes in multiple organs. However, numerous chronic infectious, inflammatory, and metabolic diseases in humans have been associated with alterations in the composition or localization of commensal bacteria that result in dysregulated host-commensal bacteria relationships. The mammalian immune system plays an essential role in regulating the acquisition, composition, and localization of commensal bacteria in the intestine. Emerging research has implicated innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) as a critical immune cell population that orchestrates some of these host-commensal bacteria relationships that can impact immunity, inflammation, and tissue homeostasis in the intestine. This review will discuss reciprocal interactions between intestinal commensal bacteria and ILCs in the context of health and disease.

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