Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Newly Described Type of Immune Cell and T Cells Share Similar Path to Maturity

Published: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Better understanding of cells' development has implications in study of inflammatory diseases.

Labs around the world, and a core group at Penn, have been studying recently described populations of immune cells called innate lymphoid cells (ILCs). Some researchers liken them to foot soldiers that protect boundary tissues such as the skin, the lining of the lung, and the lining of the gut from microbial onslaught. They also have shown they play a role in inflammatory disease, when the body’s immune system is too active.

In animal studies, group-2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) confer immunity during a parasitic infection in mice and are also involved in allergic airway inflammation. A team of Perelman School of Medicine, researchers from the Departments of Medicine, Microbiology, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Cancer Biology, found that maturation of ILC2s requires T-cell factor 1 (TCF-1, the product of the Tcf7 gene) to move forward. TCF-1 is protein that binds to specific parts of DNA to control transcription of genetic information from DNA to messenger RNA.

Avinash Bhandoola, PhD, professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Qi Yang, PhD, a postdoc in the Bhandoola lab, describe in Immunity that one mechanism used to build ILCs is the same as that in T cells. Both cell types use a protein pathway centered on Notch that the lab of coauthor Warren Pear, MD, PhD, also in the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, has studied for the last two decades. Other contributing authors are from the laboratory of David Artis, PhD in Microbiology, that are experts in ILC function, and Angela Haczku, MD, PhD, in the Department of Medicine, who focuses on asthma.

But what makes ILCs and T cells different in their final development? T cells are made in the thymus. ILCs don’t need the thymus, but researchers don’t know exactly where they are produced, just that the thymus isn’t essential for their normal development, unlike T cells.

In the Immunity study, mice without the Tcf7 gene also lack ILC2, and were unable to mount an ILC2 immune response. Forced expression of TCF-1 in bone marrow progenitor cells in the mice partially bypassed the requirement for Notch signaling in the generation of ILC2 in the mice. The researchers suggest that transcription factors such as TCF-1 that underlie early steps of T cell development are also implicated in the development of innate lymphoid cells.

The collaborators’ next steps are to better understand the basic steps of ILC development and build mouse models to test ILC function. “We want to know where ILCs develop in the body and what progenitor cells give rise to ILCs.” says Bhandoola. “If we succeed in constructing mouse models missing different types of ILC, our collaborators can use them to better figure out what these cells do, and perhaps eventually how to control them.”

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,600+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,800+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Penn Researchers Tame the Inflammatory Response in Kidney Dialysis
Researchers temporarily suppress complement during dialysis to avoid these problems.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
Funding for DNA Vaccines to Fight Infectious Disease
DARPA awards $12 million to Penn-led group to develop synthetic DNA vaccines to fight infectious disease.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Personalized Cellular Therapy Achieves Complete Remission in 90 Percent of ALL Patients Studied
University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia studies reveal unprecedented results with investigational therapy made from patients' own immune cells.
Friday, October 17, 2014
T-Cell Therapy Eradicates an Aggressive Leukemia in Two Children
CHOP/Penn Medicine oncology team reports complete remission in pediatric ALL patients.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Recently Identified Immune Cells Possible Therapeutic Target for Eczema
The increasing incidence of allergic skin diseases have spurred researchers to look for better ways to control these immune system-based disorders.
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Scientific News
Detecting HIV Diagnostic Antibodies with DNA Nanomachines
New research may revolutionize the slow, cumbersome and expensive process of detecting the antibodies that can help with the diagnosis of infectious and auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and HIV.
Snapshot Turns T Cell Immunology on its Head
New research may have implications for 1 diabetes sufferers.
Tolerant Immune System Increases Cancer Risk
Researchers have found that individuals with high immunoCRIT ratios may have an increased risk of developing certain cancers.
New Approach to Treating Heparin-induced Blood Disorder
A potential treatment for a serious clotting condition that can strike patients who receive heparin to treat or prevent blood clots may lie within reach by elucidating the structure of the protein complex at its root.
3 Ways Viruses Have Changed Science for the Better
Viruses are really good at what they do, and we’ve been able to harness their skills to learn about – and potentially improve – human health in several ways.
Mixed Up Cell Transportation Key Piece of ALS and Dementia Puzzle
Researchers from the University of Toronto are one step closer to solving this incredibly complex puzzle, offering hope for treatment.
Antibody Treatment Efficacious in Psoriasis
An experimental, biologic treatment, brodalumab, achieved 100 percent reduction in psoriasis symptoms in twice as many patients as a second, commonly used treatment, according to the results of a multicenter clinical trial led by Mount Sinai researchers.
Four Gut Bacteria Decrease Asthma Risk in Infants
New research by scientists at UBC and BC Children’s Hospital finds that infants can be protected from getting asthma if they acquire four types of gut bacteria by three months of age.
Escape Prevention
Studying flu virus structure brings us a step closer to a permanent vaccine.
New Molecular Marker for Killer Cells
Cell marker enables prognosis about the course of infections.

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,600+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,800+ scientific videos