Research ArticleMUCOSAL IMMUNOLOGY

BATF acts as an essential regulator of IL-25–responsive migratory ILC2 cell fate and function

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Science Immunology  10 Jan 2020:
Vol. 5, Issue 43, eaay3994
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aay3994

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Early epithelial responder

Innate lymphoid cell 2 (ILC2) cells can be defined as two distinct cell subsets based on responsiveness to IL-25 (called iILC2) or IL-33 (called nILC2). Miller et al. identified the AP-1 superfamily transcription factor BATF as a modulator of ILC2 fate. BATF-deficient mice infected with Nippostrongylus brasiliensis lacked iILC2 cells, were unable to protect against infection, and displayed defective ILC2-cytokine responses. Further investigation revealed that IL-25–responsive BATF-dependent migratory iILC2 expressed low levels of arginase-1, making them distinct from tissue-resident nILC2. BATF-dependent iILC2 cells also produced IL-4 and IL-13 during helminth infection in the lung and intestine. These findings indicate that these BATF-dependent migratory iILC2s can respond early to epithelial damage and contribute to the restoration of the epithelium.

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