Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 25123284
Immunol. Rev. 2014 Sep;261(1):169-76
Innate and adaptive lymphocytes are characterized by phenotypic and functional characteristics that result from genomic rearrangements (in the case of antigen-specific B and T cells) coupled with selective gene expression patterns that are generated in a context-dependent fashion. Cell-intrinsic expression of transcription factors (TFs) play a critical role in the regulation of gene expression that establish the distinct lymphoid subsets but also have been proposed to play an ongoing role in the maintenance of lineage-associated transcriptional signatures that comprise lymphocyte identity. This is the case for CD19(+) B cells that require Pax5 expression throughout their lifespan, as well as for diverse T-helper subsets that have specialized immune functions. Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) comprise diverse effectors cells that differentiate under TF control and have critical roles in the early stages of immune responses. In this review, ILC development is reviewed and the requirement for persistent TF expression in the maintenance of transcriptional signatures that define ILC identity is explored.