Group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) were first discovered in experimental studies of intestinal helminth infection-and much of our current knowledge of ILC2 activation and function is based on the use of these models. It is perhaps not surprising therefore that these cells have also been found to play a key role in mediating protection against these large multicellular parasites. ILC2s have been intensively studied over the last decade, and are known to respond quickly and robustly to the presence of helminths-both by increasing in number and producing type 2 cytokines. These mediators function to activate and repair epithelial barriers, to recruit other innate cells such as eosinophils, and to help activate T helper 2 cells. More recent investigations have focused on the mechanisms by which the host senses helminth parasites to activate ILC2s. Such studies have identified novel stromal cell types as being involved in this process-including intestinal tuft cells and enteric neurons, which respond to the presence of helminths and activate ILC2s by producing IL-25 and Neuromedin, respectively. In the current review, we will outline the latest insights into ILC2 activation and discuss the requirement for-or redundancy of-ILC2s in providing protective immunity against intestinal helminth parasites.
- tuft cell
- type 2 immunity