Research ArticleINNATE LYMPHOID CELLS

BATF regulates innate lymphoid cell hematopoiesis and homeostasis

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Science Immunology  04 Dec 2020:
Vol. 5, Issue 54, eaaz8154
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aaz8154

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A path to innate lymphoid cells

Mature innate lymphoid cell (ILC) subsets develop from ILC progenitors that have differentiated from early hematopoietic progenitors, but the regulation of this process is not well understood. Liu et al. show that basic leucine zipper ATF-like transcription factor (Batf) is a critical regulator of ILC development. IL-7 induces Batf expression in α-lymphoid progenitors, and Batf activates transcription of the Nfil3 gene, which induces ILC hematopoiesis. The presence of Batf is needed for maintenance of early and late ILC bone marrow progenitors and peripheral homeostasis of ILC1, ILC2, ILC3, and NK cells. Batf deficiency is associated with ILC lymphopenia and defective ILC responses, including inflammation and inadequate protection against enteric bacteria. These findings define the critical role of Batf in ILC development.

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