Interaction Between Innate Lymphoid Cells and the Nervous System

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2022:1365:135-148. doi: 10.1007/978-981-16-8387-9_9.


The interaction between the immune system and the nervous system remains an intriguing enigma. Recent studies indicate that innate lymphoid cells (ILCs), a unique family of innate effector cells, participate in intense cross talk with the nervous system. In the mucosal barrier sites, ILCs have been found to co-localize with neurons, nerves, glial cell projectors, and neuroendocrine cells. The cross talk between ILCs and peripheral nervous system orchestrates mucosal homeostasis and immunity. In addition, the barrier tissues of the central nervous system (CNS) also provide conductive microenvironment for ILC development and maintenance. Activities of CNS-associated ILCs impact the outcome of various CNS disorders. In this chapter, we review and discuss the intricate and bidirectional interaction between ILCs and nervous system.

Keywords: Choroid plexus; Innate lymphoid cells; Meningeal immunity; Neuroimmunology; The enteric nervous system.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Homeostasis
  • Immune System
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Lymphocytes*
  • Nervous System