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Cell. 2018 Aug 23;174(5):1054-1066. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.07.017.

Innate Lymphoid Cells: 10 Years On.

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Innate Pharma Research Labs, Innate Pharma, Marseille, France; Aix Marseille University, CNRS, INSERM, APHM, CIML, Hôpital de la Timone, Immunologie, Marseille-Immunopole, Marseille, France. Electronic address:
Jill Roberts Institute for Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Joan and Sanford I. Weill Department of Medicine and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell University, New York, NY, USA.
Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, USA.
Laboratory of Innate Immunity, Department of Microbiology and Infection Immunology, Charité - Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Germany; Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin, Germany; Mucosal and Developmental Immunology, Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum, Berlin, Germany.
Innate Immunity Unit, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France; Inserm U1223, Paris, France.
Microenvironment & Immunity Unit, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France; INSERM U1224, Paris, France.
Laboratory for Immune Cell Systems, RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences, Yokohama, Japan; Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.
HHMI and Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK.
Department of Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology, Vrije Universiteit Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, NDORMS, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
Department of Experimental Immunology Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are lymphocytes that do not express the type of diversified antigen receptors expressed on T cells and B cells. ILCs are largely tissue-resident cells and are deeply integrated into the fabric of tissues. The discovery and investigation of ILCs over the past decade has changed our perception of immune regulation and how the immune system contributes to the maintenance of tissue homeostasis. We now know that cytokine-producing ILCs contribute to multiple immune pathways by, for example, sustaining appropriate immune responses to commensals and pathogens at mucosal barriers, potentiating adaptive immunity, and regulating tissue inflammation. Critically, the biology of ILCs also extends beyond classical immunology to metabolic homeostasis, tissue remodeling, and dialog with the nervous system. The last 10 years have also contributed to our greater understanding of the transcriptional networks that regulate lymphocyte commitment and delineation. This, in conjunction with the recent advances in our understanding of the influence of local tissue microenvironments on the plasticity and function of ILCs, has led to a re-evaluation of their existing categorization. In this review, we distill the advances in ILC biology over the past decade to refine the nomenclature of ILCs and highlight the importance of ILCs in tissue homeostasis, morphogenesis, metabolism, repair, and regeneration.


immunity; innate lymphoid cells; metabolism; neuro-immunology; plasticity; tissue remodeling

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