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ILCs and T helper cells have been shown to exert bi-directional regulation in mice. However, how crosstalk between ILCs and CD4+ T cells influences immune function in humans is unknown. Here we show that human intestinal ILCs co-localize with T cells in healthy and colorectal cancer tissue and display elevated HLA-DR expression in tumor and tumor-adjacent areas. Although mostly lacking co-stimulatory molecules ex vivo, intestinal and peripheral blood (PB) ILCs acquire antigen-presenting characteristics triggered by inflammasome-associated cytokines IL-1β and IL-18. IL-1β drives the expression of HLA-DR and co-stimulatory molecules on PB ILCs in an NF-κB-dependent manner, priming them as efficient inducers of cytomegalovirus-specific memory CD4+ T-cell responses. This effect is strongly inhibited by the anti-inflammatory cytokine TGF-β. Our results suggest that circulating and tissue-resident ILCs have the intrinsic capacity to respond to the immediate cytokine milieu and regulate local CD4+ T-cell responses, with potential implications for anti-tumor immunity and inflammation.
Anna Rao,Jenny Mjösberg
Anna Rao,Otto Strauss,Efthymia Kokkinou,Mélanie Bruchard,Kumar P Tripathi,Heinrich Schlums,Anna Carrasco,Luca Mazzurana,Viktoria Konya,Eduardo J Villablanca,Niklas K Björkström,Ulrik Lindforss,Hergen Spits,Jenny Mjösberg