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Development of innate lymphoid cells

Abstract

Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are a family of immune effector cells that have important roles in host defense, metabolic homeostasis and tissue repair but can also contribute to inflammatory diseases such as asthma and colitis. These cells can be categorized into three groups on the basis of the transcription factors that direct their function and the cytokines they produce, which parallel the effector functions of T lymphocytes. The hierarchy of cell-fate-restriction events that occur as common lymphoid progenitors become committed to each of the ILC lineages further underscores the relationship between these innate immune cells and T lymphocytes. In this Review we discuss the developmental program of ILCs and transcription factors that guide ILC lineage specification and commitment.

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Figure 1: Transcriptional control of ILC development.
Figure 2: Comparison of the transcriptional networks that guide the development of NK cells and ILC1s from lineage-restricted progenitors.

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Acknowledgements

We thank J. Sun and members of the Kee laboratory for discussions, and A. Sperling for comments on this manuscript. Supported by the US National Institutes of Health (F32CA177235 for E.C.Z., and R01 AI106352 and R21 AI115338 for work in the laboratory of B.L.K.).

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Correspondence to Barbara L Kee.

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Zook, E., Kee, B. Development of innate lymphoid cells. Nat Immunol 17, 775–782 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/ni.3481

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