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Nat Immunol. 2013 Mar;14(3):221-9. doi: 10.1038/ni.2534. Epub 2013 Jan 20.

Human type 1 innate lymphoid cells accumulate in inflamed mucosal tissues.

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Tytgat Institute for Liver and Intestinal Research, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are effectors of innate immunity and regulators of tissue modeling. Recently identified ILC populations have a cytokine expression pattern that resembles that of the helper T cell subsets T(H)2, T(H)17 and T(H)22. Here we describe a distinct ILC subset similar to T(H)1 cells, which we call 'ILC1'. ILC1 cells expressed the transcription factor T-bet and responded to interleukin 12 (IL-12) by producing interferon-γ (IFN-γ). ILC1 cells were distinct from natural killer (NK) cells as they lacked perforin, granzyme B and the NK cell markers CD56, CD16 and CD94, and could develop from RORγt(+) ILC3 under the influence of IL-12. The frequency of the ILC1 subset was much higher in inflamed intestine of people with Crohn's disease, which indicated a role for these IFN-γ-producing ILC1 cells in the pathogenesis of gut mucosal inflammation.

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