Lymphoid tissue inducer (LTi) cells are required for lymph node formation during fetal development, and recent evidence implies a role in mucosal immunity in the adult. LTi cells share some phenotypic features of conventional natural killer (NK; cNK) cells; however, little is known to date about the relationship between these two cell types. We show that lineage- (Lin-) CD127+RORC+ LTi-like cells in human tonsil are precursors to CD56+CD127+RORC+NKp46+ cells, which together comprise a stable RORC+ lineage. We find that LTi-like cells and their CD56+ progeny can be expanded and cloned ex vivo without loss of function and without conversion into cNK cells. Clonal analysis reveals heterogeneity of cytokine production within the CD127+ LTi-like population. Furthermore, we identify within the tonsil a cNK precursor population that is characterized as Lin-CD117+CD161 +CD127- cells. Overall, we propose that CD127 +RORC+ cells, although they share some characteristics with cNK cells, represent a functionally and developmentally distinct lineage.

Additional Metadata
Keywords CD56 antigen, T lymphocyte receptor, T lymphocyte subpopulation, antigen expression, article, cell type, cytokine, cytokine production, human, human cell, interleukin 15, interleukin 2, interleukin 22, interleukin 7, interleukin 7 receptor, natural killer T cell, natural killer cell, natural killer cell receptor, natural killer cell receptor NKp44, natural killer cell receptor NKp46, phenotype, priority journal, tonsil, unclassified drug
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1084/jem.20091509, hdl.handle.net/1765/19956
Citation
Crellin, N.K., Trifari, S., Kaplan, C.D., Cupedo, T., & Spits, H.. (2010). Human NKp44+IL-22+ cells and LTi-like cells constitute a stable RORC+ lineage distinct from conventional natural killer cells. The Journal of Experimental Medicine, 207(2), 281–290. doi:10.1084/jem.20091509