Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) reside at mucosal surfaces and control immunity to intestinal infections. Type 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) produce cytokines such as IL-5 and IL-13, are required for immune defense against helminth infections, and are involved in the pathogenesis of airway hyperreactivity. Here, we have investigated the role of the transcription factor GATA-3 for ILC2 differentiation and maintenance. We showed that ILC2s and their lineage-specified bone marrow precursors (ILC2Ps), as identified here, were characterized by continuous high expression of GATA-3. Analysis of mice with temporary deletion of GATA-3 in all ILCs showed that GATA-3 was required for the differentiation and maintenance of ILC2s but not for RORγt(+) ILCs. Thus, our data demonstrate that GATA-3 is essential for ILC2 fate decisions and reveal similarities between the transcriptional programs controlling ILC and T helper cell fates.
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