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Nat Immunol. 2013 Dec;14(12):1229-36. doi: 10.1038/ni.2743. Epub 2013 Oct 20.

Specification of type 2 innate lymphocytes by the transcriptional determinant Gfi1.

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Department of Discovery Immunology, Genentech, South San Francisco, California, USA.


Type 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2 cells) participate in host defense against helminth parasites and in allergic inflammation. Given their functional relatedness to type 2 helper T cells (T(H)2 cells), we explored whether Gfi1 acts as a shared transcriptional determinant in ILC2 cells. Gfi1 promoted the development of ILC2 cells and controlled their responsiveness during infection with Nippostrongylus brasiliensis and protease allergen-induced lung inflammation. Gfi1 'preferentially' regulated the responsiveness of ILC2 cells to interleukin 33 (IL-33) by directly activating Il1rl1, which encodes the IL-33 receptor (ST2). Loss of Gfi1 in activated ILC2 cells resulted in impaired expression of the transcription factor GATA-3 and a dysregulated genome-wide effector state characterized by coexpression of IL-13 and IL-17. Our findings establish Gfi1 as a shared determinant that reciprocally regulates the type 2 and IL-17 effector states in cells of the innate and adaptive immune systems.

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