Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 35201883
Link to DOI – 10.1126/science.aaz8777
Science 2022 Feb; 375(6583): 859-863
Group 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3s) are innate immune effectors that contribute to host defense. Whether ILC3 functions are stably modified after pathogen encounter is unknown. Here, we assess the impact of a time-restricted enterobacterial challenge to long-term ILC3 activation in mice. We found that intestinal ILC3s persist for months in an activated state after exposure to Citrobacter rodentium. Upon rechallenge, these “trained” ILC3s proliferate, display enhanced interleukin-22 (IL-22) responses, and have a superior capacity to control infection compared with naïve ILC3s. Metabolic changes occur in C. rodentium-exposed ILC3s, but only trained ILC3s have an enhanced proliferative capacity that contributes to increased IL-22 production. Accordingly, a limited encounter with a pathogen can promote durable phenotypic and functional changes in intestinal ILC3s that contribute to long-term mucosal defense.