Nature Reviews Immunology 13, 75-87 (February 2013) | doi:10.1038/nri3349

Focus on: The inbetweeners: innate-like lymphocytes

Innate lymphoid cells — how did we miss them?

Jennifer A. Walker1, Jillian L. Barlow1 & Andrew N. J. McKenzie1  About the authors


Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are newly identified members of the lymphoid lineage that have emerging roles in mediating immune responses and in regulating tissue homeostasis and inflammation. Here, we review the developmental relationships between the various ILC lineages that have been identified to date and summarize their functions in protective immunity to infection and their pathological roles in allergic and autoimmune diseases.

Author affiliations

  1. MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 0QH, UK.

Correspondence to: Andrew N. J. McKenzie1 Email:

Published online 7 January 2013