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CD56 Expression Marks Human Group 2 Innate Lymphoid Cell Divergence from a Shared NK Cell and Group 3 Innate Lymphoid Cell Developmental Pathway

Chen, L., Youssef, Y., Robinson, C. et al.

According to the established model of murine innate lymphoid cell (ILC) development, helper ILCs develop separately from natural killer (NK) cells. However, it is unclear how helper ILCs and NK cells develop in humans. Here we elucidated key steps of NK cell, ILC2, and ILC3 development within human tonsils using ex vivo molecular and functional profiling and lineage differentiation assays. We demonstrated that while tonsillar NK cells, ILC2s, and ILC3s originated from a common CD34-CD117+ ILC precursor pool, final steps of ILC2 development deviated independently and became mutually exclusive from those of NK cells and ILC3s, whose developmental pathways overlapped. Moreover, we identified a CD34-CD117+ ILC precursor population that expressed CD56 and gave rise to NK cells and ILC3s but not to ILC2s. These data support a model of human ILC development distinct from the mouse, whereby human NK cells and ILC3s share a common developmental pathway separate from ILC2s.

Citation

Chen, L., Youssef, Y., Robinson, C. et al. "CD56 Expression Marks Human Group 2 Innate Lymphoid Cell Divergence from a Shared NK Cell and Group 3 Innate Lymphoid Cell Developmental Pathway" Immunity (2018): 464-76