Evaluation of: Monticelli LA, Sonnenberg GF, Abt MC et al. Innate lymphoid cells promote lung-tissue homeostasis after infection with influenza virus. Nat. Immunol. 12(11), 1045–1054 (2011).
The restoration of lung-tissue architecture and a return to a homeostatic state following injury or inflammation is critical to effective pulmonary function. This article assesses the findings of a recently published study by Monticelli et al. in Nature Immunology that describes a novel population of innate lymphoid cells in the lungs of mice and humans, with a critical role in restoring epithelial airway integrity following influenza infection. The significance of this study in the context of our current knowledge of innate lymphoid cells, and its implications and potential for therapeutic manipulation, shall be evaluated within this article.