The innate lymphoid cell (ILC) family comsists of cytotoxic natural killer (NK) cells and cytokine-producing helper-like ILCs, which are further divided into three groups based on the cytokines they produce and the expression of key transcription factors. Currently, we are mainly interested in group 2 ILCs. We previously found ILC2s in mouse lungs and shown them to produce large amounts of Th2-type cytokines that drive l allergic inflammation (Halim et al. Immunity 2012a). We also developed ILC2-deficient mice and shown that ILC2s are critical for allergen-induced lung inflammation (Halim et al. Immunity 2012b). ILC2s also promotethe differentiation of naïve CD4+ T cells into Th2 cells (Halim et al. Immunity 2014). More recently, we have shown that activated lung ILC2s acquire antigen non-specific memory functions and drive severe allergic lung inflammation upon allergen re-exposure (Martinez-Gonzalez et al. Immunity 2018).
Our current research projects include:
- Investigation of ILC2 heterogeneity by single cell RNA sequencing, multi-color flow cytometry and functional analyses.
- Studies on the development and activation of lung ILC2s in the neonatal period and their role in adult lung immunity.
- Studies on tissue resident versus migratory ILC2s and their role in various inflammatory diseases.
- Analyses of ILC3s in mouse lungs.