Innate Lymphoid cells (ILCs) in Chronic infections

Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are a very rare subset of lymphocytes, one reason why these cells have been identified only a few years ago. So far three main categories of ILCs such as ILC1, ILC2 and ILC3 have been characterised, reflecting according adaptive T cell subsets. Unlike T cells, ILCs do not express adaptive antigen receptors and therefore can promptly react to signals from different infected or injured tissues. Activated ILCs produce different cytokines and play an important role in shaping the immune responses during infection, but also contribute to tissue homeostasis and wound healing. ILC2s have been reported to influence the function of type-2 immunity in allergic diseases such as asthma. Furthermore, there are indications that ILC2s play a crucial role in chronic helminth infections such as schistosomiasis by inducing type-2 immune response as well as in pathogenesis of chronic pulmonary diseases. Despite these advances, the implication of ILC2s is poorly defined. This study aims to dissect the mechanisms regulating ILC2s in chronic infections. 

Our research team is deciphering the biological cross-talk between Type-2 Immunity, ILC2s, the role of common γ cytokines and their respective receptors using state of the art immunological and molecular approaches. Understanding this complex regulatory network will provide insights into new immunological mechanisms potentially contributing to protective immunity. Therefore, the uncovered knowledge may help to regulate or enhance immune responses in chronic infections prevention and therapy.

(by Jean De Dieu Harelimana)

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