Innate lymphoid cells in atherosclerosis

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The family of innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) consisting of NK cells, lymphoid tissue inducer cells and the ‘helper’-like ILC subsets ILC1, ILC2 and ILC3 have been shown to have important roles in protection against microbes, regulation of inflammatory diseases and involved in allergic reactions. ILC1s produce IFN-γ upon stimulation with IL-12 and IL-18, ILC2s produce IL-5 and IL-13 responding to IL-33 and IL-25 while ILC3s produce IL-17 and IL-22 after stimulation with IL-23 or IL-1. Although few studies have directly investigated the role for ILCs in atherosclerosis, several studies have investigated transcription factors and cytokines shared by ILCs and T helper cells. In this review we summarize our current understanding of the role of ILC in atherosclerosis and discuss future directions.

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