Innate lymphoid cells: from helper to killer

Lisette Krabbendam, Jochem H. Bernink, Hergen Spits

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Five subsets of ILCs are extensively described, Lymphoid Tissue inducer (LTi) cells, cytotoxic NK cells and non-cytotoxic helper ILC1s, ILC2s and ILC3s. So far, the main focus has been on the potent cytokine production by helper ILCs and their plastic nature that allows them to switch function and phenotype upon environmental changes. Recent advances in the field indicate the presence of cytotoxic helper ILCs that are distinct from conventional NK cells. In humans, these cytotoxic ILCs can develop from conventional helper ILCs whereas in mice this remains to be elucidated. In this review we discuss the identification, development and function of cytotoxic helper ILCs subsets in humans and mice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-33
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in immunology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021

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