Our team is interested in the development and functions of Natural Killer cells and ILC1s. NK cells have been ‘accidentally’ identified almost 40 years ago based on their ability to spontaneously lyse tumor cells in vitro. Now we know that Natural Killer cells represent a subset of Innate Lymphoid Cells (ILC) with unique functional attributes that go beyond tumoricidal activities. Thus, NK cells are involved in immune responses not only to tumors but also to various viral and microbial pathogens. This large portfolio of immune activities can be attributed to both, the direct recognition of stressed or transformed cells by NK cells, and the regulation of other hematopoietic cells during inflammation. We are interested in dissecting the pathways controlling the various functions of NK cells. For that, we have developed a model system that allows to conditionally delete any given target gene in these cells. As such we can study the role that the target gene plays for the activity of NK cells in various immune responses. ILC1s have been initially described as immature NK cells residing in the liver, but more recent analyses revealed that they represent tissue-resident innate lymphocytes distinct from the NK cell lineage although they share striking phenotypic similarities with NK cells. Like NK cells, they belong to the group 1 of innate lymphocytes based on their expression of the transcription factor T-bet and their capacity to produce the pro-inflammatory cytokine IFNγ upon stimulation. The function of these cells in immune responses to tumors or microbial pathogens remains elusive.
Genetic traits involved in the regulation of NK cell and ILC-mediated anti-tumor functions
Rudolf Virchow postulated more than 150 years ago that inflammation might be linked to cancer development. Although a large body of experimental evidence accumulated to date strongly supports such a link, it is less […]
Mouse Model to Understand Innate Lymphoid Cell Biology
Mucosal homeostasis requires a delicate equilibrium between immune mechanisms and commensal microorganisms that impacts on the development and maintenance of critical physiological processes including digestion, metabolism or host defense. Several infectious or inflammatory disorders […]
2019An Id2-Reporter Mouse Redefines Innate Lymphoid Cell Precursor Potentials, Immunity 2019 Apr;50(4):1054-1068.e3.
2019Conditional Genetic Ablation Mouse Models as a Tool to Study Cancer Immunosurveillance In Vivo, Methods Mol. Biol. 2019;1884:161-176.
2017Developmental options and functional plasticity of innate lymphoid cells, Curr. Opin. Immunol. 2017 Feb;44:61-68.
2016Notch signaling in group 3 innate lymphoid cells modulates their plasticity, Sci Signal 2016;9(426):ra45.
2016Phenotypic and Functional Plasticity of Murine Intestinal NKp46+ Group 3 Innate Lymphoid Cells, J. Immunol. 2016 Jun;196(11):4731-8.
2015Transcriptional regulation of innate lymphoid cell fate, Nat. Rev. Immunol. 2015 Jul;15(7):415-28.
2015NFIL3 orchestrates the emergence of common helper innate lymphoid cell precursors, Cell Rep 2015 Mar;10(12):2043-54.
2014A novel immunoregulatory role for NK-cell cytotoxicity in protection from HLH-like immunopathology in mice, Blood 2015 Feb;125(9):1427-34.
2014Conditional ablation of NKp46+ cells using a novel Ncr1(greenCre) mouse strain: NK cells are essential for protection against pulmonary B16 metastases, Eur. J. Immunol. 2014 Nov;44(11):3380-91.
2014Gata3 drives development of RORγt+ group 3 innate lymphoid cells, J. Exp. Med. 2014 Feb;211(2):199-208.
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