"Group 2 Innate Lymphoid cells at the interface between innate and adaptive immunity"
Group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2) are a newly discovered subset of lymphocytes that are known to be prolific producers of inflammatory cytokines. We have found that ILC2 are tissue resident cells in the airways, and can be rapidly activated by epithelial-derived stress factors such as interleukin (IL)-33 to promote acute allergic (Type-2) lung inflammation. Moreover, we have also shown that ILC2, through production of IL-13, can influence the migration of lung dendritic cells (DC) to the draining lymph nodes. It is there that DCs encounter and subsequently activate naïve CD4 T cells, which become polarized to a T helper 2 (TH2) cell phenotype. Subsequently, lung ILC2s also stimulate lung DCs to produce CCL17, which attracts the memory TH2 cells into the lungs. Thus, ILC2 are an important regulator of tissue-specific innate and adaptive type-2 inflammation, and provide a critical link between the epithelium and innate and adaptive immune system.
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