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Immunity. 2018 Jun 19;48(6):1081-1090. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2018.06.002.

Why Innate Lymphoid Cells?

Author information

1
HHMI and Department of Medicine, UCSF, 513 Parnassus Avenue, S1032B, San Francisco, CA 94143-0795, USA. Electronic address: maya.kotas@ucsf.edu.
2
HHMI and Department of Medicine, UCSF, 513 Parnassus Avenue, S1032B, San Francisco, CA 94143-0795, USA. Electronic address: richard.locksley@ucsf.edu.

Abstract

Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are positioned in tissues perinatally, constitutively express receptors responsive to their organ microenvironments, and perform an arsenal of effector functions that overlap those of adaptive CD4+ T cells. Based on knowledge regarding subsets of invariant-like lymphocytes (e.g., natural killer T [NKT] cells, γδ T cells, mucosal-associated invariant T [MAIT] cells, etc.) and fetally derived macrophages, we hypothesize that immune cells established during the perinatal period-including, but not limited to, ILCs-serve intimate roles in tissue that go beyond classical understanding of the immune system in microbial host defense. In this Perspective, we propose mechanisms by which the establishment of ILCs and the tissue lymphoid niche during early development may have consequences much later in life. Although definitive answers require better tools, efforts to achieve deeper understanding of ILC biology across the mammalian lifespan have the potential to lift the veil on the unknown breadth of immune cell functions.

KEYWORDS:

ILCs; cytokines; innate lymphoid cells; tissue homeostasis; tissue-resident lymphocytes

PMID:
29924974
PMCID:
PMC6145487
DOI:
10.1016/j.immuni.2018.06.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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