The single-cell transcriptional landscape of innate and adaptive lymphocytes in pediatric-onset colitis

Cell Rep Med. 2023 May 16;4(5):101038. doi: 10.1016/j.xcrm.2023.101038. Epub 2023 May 8.


Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are considered innate counterparts of adaptive T cells; however, their common and unique transcriptional signatures in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (pIBD) are largely unknown. Here, we report a dysregulated colonic ILC composition in pIBD colitis that correlates with inflammatory activity, including accumulation of naive-like CD45RA+CD62L- ILCs. Weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) reveals modules of genes that are shared or unique across innate and adaptive lymphocytes. Shared modules include genes associated with activation/tissue residency, naivety/quiescence, and antigen presentation. Lastly, nearest-neighbor-based analysis facilitates the identification of "most inflamed" and "least inflamed" lymphocytes in pIBD colon with unique transcriptional signatures. Our study reveals shared and unique transcriptional signatures of colonic ILCs and T cells in pIBD. We also provide insight into the transcriptional regulation of colonic inflammation, deepening our understanding of the potential mechanisms involved in pIBD.

Keywords: IBD; ILC; gut immunity; pediatric inflammatory bowel disease; single-cell RNA sequencing; tissue-resident T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Colitis* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / genetics
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases*
  • Lymphocytes
  • T-Lymphocytes