Innate Lymphoid Cell Plasticity in Mucosal Infections

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Mucosal tissue homeostasis is a dynamic process that involves multiple mechanisms including regulation of innate lymphoid cells (ILCs). ILCs are mostly tissue-resident cells which are critical for tissue homeostasis and immune response against pathogens. ILCs can sense environmental changes and rapidly respond by producing effector cytokines to limit pathogen spread and initiate tissue recovery. However, dysregulation of ILCs can also lead to immunopathology. Accumulating evidence suggests that ILCs are dynamic population that can change their phenotype and functions under rapidly changing tissue microenvironment. However, the significance of ILC plasticity in response to pathogens remains poorly understood. Therefore, in this review, we discuss recent advances in understanding the mechanisms regulating ILC plasticity in response to intestinal, respiratory and genital tract pathogens. Key transcription factors and lineage-guiding cytokines regulate this plasticity. Additionally, we discuss the emerging data on the role of tissue microenvironment, gut microbiota, and hypoxia in ILC plasticity in response to mucosal pathogens. The identification of new pathways and molecular mechanisms that control functions and plasticity of ILCs could uncover more specific and effective therapeutic targets for infectious and autoimmune diseases where ILCs become dysregulated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number461
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • ILC plasticity
  • innate lymphoid cells
  • mucosal pathogens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Virology
  • Microbiology


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