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,
Journal The Journal of Experimental Medicine
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