Innate lymphoid cells in the initiation, regulation and resolution of inflammation


A previously unappreciated cell type of the innate immune system, termed innate lymphoid cells (ILCs), has been characterized in mice and humans and found to influence the induction, regulation and resolution of inflammation. ILCs have an important role in these processes in mouse models of infection, inflammation and tissue repair. Further, disease-association studies in defined patient populations have identified significant alterations in ILC responses, suggesting a potential role for these cell populations in human health and disease. In this review we discuss the emerging family of ILCs, the role of ILCs in inflammation, and how current or novel therapeutic strategies could be used to selectively modulate ILC responses and limit chronic inflammatory diseases.

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Figure 1: Development and heterogeneity of the ILC family.
Figure 2: ILCs promote acute inflammation and innate immunity to pathogens.
Figure 3: ILC2s and ILC3s promote the resolution of inflammation and tissue repair.
Figure 4: ILCs can promote chronic inflammation.
Figure 5: ILCs can prevent or limit chronic inflammation.


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Research in the Sonnenberg laboratory is supported by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) (DP5OD012116), the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Mucosal Immunology Studies Team (MIST) Scholar Award in Mucosal Immunity and the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics Transdisciplinary Program in Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (UL1-RR024134 from the US National Center for Research Resources). Research in the Artis laboratory is supported by the NIH (AI061570, AI074878, AI095466, AI095608, AI102942, AI097333 and AI106697), the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator in Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease Award and the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America.

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Correspondence to Gregory F Sonnenberg.

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David Artis is a scientific advisor for Bio-Techne and Second Genome, although these programs are not referred to herein.

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Sonnenberg, G., Artis, D. Innate lymphoid cells in the initiation, regulation and resolution of inflammation. Nat Med 21, 698–708 (2015).

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