Type 2 immunity: Expanding our view

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Science Immunology  06 Jul 2018:
Vol. 3, Issue 25, eaat1604
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aat1604


The classical vision of type 2 immune reactions is that they are characterized by a distinct cellular and cytokine repertoire that is critical for host resistance against helminthic worm infections but, when dysregulated, may cause atopic reactions that result in conditions such as asthma, rhinitis, dermatitis, and anaphylaxis. In this traditional view, the type 2 response is categorized as an adaptive immune response with differentiated T helper cells taking center stage, driving eosinophil recruitment and immunoglobulin production via the secretion of a distinct repertoire of cytokines that include interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-5, and IL-13. The recent discovery of a group of innate cells that has the capacity to secrete copious amounts of type 2 cytokines, potentially in the absence of adaptive immunity, has reignited interest in type 2 biology. The discovery that these innate lymphoid cells and type 2 cytokines are involved in diverse biological processes—including wound healing, control of metabolic homeostasis, and temperature—has considerably changed our view of type 2 responses and the cytokines, chemokines, and receptors that regulate these responses.

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