Heterogeneity in the initiation, development and function of type 2 immunity

Nat Rev Immunol. 2020 Oct;20(10):603-614. doi: 10.1038/s41577-020-0301-x. Epub 2020 May 4.


Type 2 immune responses operate under varying conditions in distinct tissue environments and are crucial for protection against helminth infections and for the maintenance of tissue homeostasis. Here we explore how different layers of heterogeneity influence type 2 immunity. Distinct insults, such as allergens or infections, can induce type 2 immune responses through diverse mechanisms, and this can have heterogeneous consequences, ranging from acute or chronic inflammation to deficits in immune regulation and tissue repair. Technological advances have provided new insights into the molecular heterogeneity of different developmental lineages of type 2 immune cells. Genetic and environmental heterogeneity also contributes to the varying magnitude and quality of the type 2 immune response during infection, which is an important determinant of the balance between pathology and disease resolution. Hence, understanding the mechanisms underlying the heterogeneity of type 2 immune responses between individuals and between different tissues will be crucial for treating diseases in which type 2 immunity is an important component.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology*