Influence of the transcription factor RORgammat on the development of NKp46+ cell populations in gut and skin

Nat Immunol. 2009 Jan;10(1):75-82. doi: 10.1038/ni.1681. Epub 2008 Nov 23.


NKp46+CD3- natural killer lymphocytes isolated from blood, lymphoid organs, lung, liver and uterus can produce granule-dependent cytotoxicity and interferon-gamma. Here we identify in dermis, gut lamina propria and cryptopatches distinct populations of NKp46+CD3- cells with a diminished capacity to degranulate and produce interferon-gamma. In the gut, expression of the transcription factor RORgammat, which is involved in the development of lymphoid tissue-inducer cells, defined a previously unknown subset of NKp46+CD3- lymphocytes. Unlike RORgammat- lamina propria and dermis natural killer cells, gut RORgammat+NKp46+ cells produced interleukin 22. Our data show that lymphoid tissue-inducer cells and natural killer cells shared unanticipated similarities and emphasize the heterogeneity of NKp46+CD3- cells in innate immunity, lymphoid organization and local tissue repair.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD3 Complex / metabolism
  • Cell Division
  • Dermis / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Interleukins / biosynthesis
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Natural Cytotoxicity Triggering Receptor 1 / immunology
  • Natural Killer T-Cells / immunology*
  • Nuclear Receptor Subfamily 1, Group F, Member 3
  • Peyer's Patches / immunology
  • Receptors, Retinoic Acid / genetics
  • Receptors, Retinoic Acid / physiology*
  • Receptors, Thyroid Hormone / genetics
  • Receptors, Thyroid Hormone / physiology*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*


  • CD3 Complex
  • Interleukins
  • NCR1 protein, human
  • Natural Cytotoxicity Triggering Receptor 1
  • Nuclear Receptor Subfamily 1, Group F, Member 3
  • RORC protein, human
  • Receptors, Retinoic Acid
  • Receptors, Thyroid Hormone
  • Rorc protein, mouse
  • Transcription Factors
  • Interferon-gamma
  • interleukin-22