Focus |

Innate lymphoid cells

Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are a recently described family of lymphoid effector cells with important roles in immunological defense and tissue remodeling. Nature Immunology presents a series of specially commissioned articles that discuss the evolution, development, functional diversity and immunotherapeutic potential of ILCs. In collaboration with Nucleus Medical Media, Nature Immunology has also produced an animation that shows the complexity of ILC biology in the gut at steady state and during disease.
Produced with support from MedImmune


  • Nature Immunology | Editorial

    Innate lymphoid cells serve multiple roles in maintaining tissue homeostasis and responding to tissue insults and can contribute to chronic inflammatory diseases.

  • Nature Immunology | Comment

    Targeting innate lymphoid cells, the innate counterparts of T cells, might help direct an appropriate immune response during preventive and therapeutic strategies aimed at pathogens and inflammatory pathologies

    • Sascha Cording
    • , Jasna Medvedovic
    • , Tegest Aychek
    •  &  Gérard Eberl
  • Nature Immunology | Review Article

    NK cells and ILC1s are developmentally distinct but share many functional similarities. Spits and colleagues describe current knowledge on the biology of these cells and the conditions under which they can be distinguished.

    • Hergen Spits
    • , Jochem H Bernink
    •  &  Lewis Lanier
  • Nature Immunology | Review Article

    Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) arise from distinct hematopoietic progenitors. Zook & Kee discuss the transcriptional programs that direct the development of natural killer cells and various ILC subsets.

    • Erin C Zook
    •  &  Barbara L Kee
  • Nature Immunology | Perspective

    The redundant or specialized roles of innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) relative to those of T cells in vivo remain hard to delineate experimentally. Bando and Colonna review the current understanding of the specialized in vivo functions of ILCs and discuss the genetic mouse models used to assess the contributions of ILCs versus those of T cells.

    • Jennifer K Bando
    •  &  Marco Colonna