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Immunol Rev. 2018 Nov;286(1):102-119. doi: 10.1111/imr.12712.

Innate lymphoid cells in lung infection and immunity.

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Innate Immunity, Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum, Berlin, Germany.
Medical Department I, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


In recent years, innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) have emerged as key mediators of protection and repair of mucosal surfaces during infection. The lung, a dynamic mucosal tissue that is exposed to a plethora of microbes, is a playground for respiratory infection-causing pathogens which are not only a major cause of fatalities worldwide, but are also associated with comorbidities and decreased quality of life. The lung provides a rich microenvironment to study ILCs in the context of innate protection mechanisms within the airways, unraveling their distinct functions not only in health but also in disease. In this review, we discuss how pulmonary ILCs play a role in protection against viral, parasitic, bacterial, and fungal challenge, along with the mechanisms underlying this ILC-mediated immunity.


ILC compartmentalization; innate lymphoid cells (ILCs); lung innate immunity; respiratory infections

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