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Open AccessReview

Group 2 Innate Lymphoid Cells: A Double-Edged Sword in Cancer?

Immunology Department, Bambino Gesù Children Hospital, 00165 Rome, Italy
Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, 50134 Florence, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3452;
Received: 15 October 2020 / Revised: 16 November 2020 / Accepted: 17 November 2020 / Published: 20 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue NK/ILCs in Tumors)
Group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s), like other ILCs, are a new resident cell subset of innate immunity that provides the first line of defense against pathogens such as helminths and largely contributes to inflammation observed in allergic disorders and in some tumors. They are considered sentinel cells, which reside at the interface between host and external environment and are rapidly activated by signals deriving from tissue. Depending on the type of signals and their high plasticity, ILC2s exert both enhancing and regulatory activity on other tissue-resident cells, including tumor- and tumor-associated cells. The functional profile of ILC2s, their pro- or antitumor activity in preclinical studies and patients and the potential therapeutic approaches targeting ILC2s have been extensively reviewed.
Group 2 Innate Lymphoid Cells (ILC2s) belong to the family of helper ILCs which provide host defense against infectious agents, participate in inflammatory responses and mediate lymphoid organogenesis and tissue repair, mainly at the skin and mucosal level. Based on their transcriptional, phenotypic and functional profile, ILC2s mirror the features of the adaptive CD4+ Th2 cell subset, both contributing to the so-called type 2 immune response. Similar to other ILCs, ILC2s are rapidly activated by signals deriving from tissue and/or other tissue-resident immune cells. The biologic activity of ILCs needs to be tightly regulated in order to prevent them from contributing to severe inflammation and damage in several organs. Indeed, ILC2s display both enhancing and regulatory roles in several pathophysiological conditions, including tumors. In this review, we summarize the actual knowledge about ILC2s ability to induce or impair a protective immune response, their pro- or antitumor activity in murine models, human (children and adults) pathologies and the potential strategies to improve cancer immunotherapy by exploiting the features of ILC2s. View Full-Text
Keywords: group 2 innate lymphoid cells; immunity in tumors; immunotherapy group 2 innate lymphoid cells; immunity in tumors; immunotherapy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Maggi, E.; Veneziani, I.; Moretta, L.; Cosmi, L.; Annunziato, F. Group 2 Innate Lymphoid Cells: A Double-Edged Sword in Cancer? Cancers 2020, 12, 3452.

AMA Style

Maggi E, Veneziani I, Moretta L, Cosmi L, Annunziato F. Group 2 Innate Lymphoid Cells: A Double-Edged Sword in Cancer? Cancers. 2020; 12(11):3452.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Maggi, Enrico; Veneziani, Irene; Moretta, Lorenzo; Cosmi, Lorenzo; Annunziato, Francesco. 2020. "Group 2 Innate Lymphoid Cells: A Double-Edged Sword in Cancer?" Cancers 12, no. 11: 3452.

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