Orchestration of intestinal homeostasis and tolerance by group 3 innate lymphoid cells

Hugo A. Penny, Suzanne H. Hodge, Matthew R. Hepworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The gastrointestinal tract is the primary site of exposure to a multitude of microbial, environmental, and dietary challenges. As a result, immune responses in the intestine need to be tightly regulated in order to prevent inappropriate inflammatory responses to exogenous stimuli. Intestinal homeostasis and tolerance are mediated through a multitude of immune mechanisms that act to reinforce barrier integrity, maintain the segregation and balance of commensal microbes, and ensure tissue health and regeneration. Here, we discuss the role of group 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3) as key regulators of intestinal health and highlight how increasing evidence implicates dysregulation of this innate immune cell population in the onset or progression of a broad range of clinically relevant pathologies. Finally, we discuss how the next generation of immunotherapeutics may be utilized to target ILC3 in disease and restore gastrointestinal tolerance and tissue health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalSeminars in Immunopathology
Early online date8 May 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 May 2018


  • Innate lymphoid cells
  • ILC
  • Mucosal tolerance
  • Commensal bacteria
  • Inflammation
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Dietary antigens


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