Single-cell transcriptional analysis reveals ILC-like cells in zebrafish

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Science Immunology  16 Nov 2018:
Vol. 3, Issue 29, eaau5265
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aau5265

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Fishing for ILCs in zebrafish

To date, most studies on innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) have been focused on their functions in mammals. It is well known that both lymphoid cells and adaptive immunity are not unique to mammals but are shared by all vertebrates. By studying lymphoid cells in rag1-deficient zebrafish that lack both B and T cells, Hernández et al. have examined the functions of ILC-like cells in zebrafish. Using single-cell RNA-seq to profile gene expression in gut-resident lymphocytes of rag1-deficient zebrafish after immune challenge, they have identified lymphocytes in zebrafish that correspond to mammalian ILC1, ILC2, and ILC3 lineages. Studying ILCs in zebrafish should lead to a better understanding of the evolutionary functions of ILCs.