Journal article

IL-17-producing NKT cells depend exclusively on IL-7 for homeostasis and survival

KE Webster, H-O Kim, K Kyparissoudis, TM Corpuz, GV Pinget, AP Uldrich, R Brink, GT Belz, J-H Cho, DI Godfrey, J Sprent



Natural killer T (NKT) cells are innate-like T cells that rapidly recognize pathogens and produce cytokines that shape the ensuing immune response. IL-17-producing NKT cells are enriched in barrier tissues, such as the lung, skin, and peripheral lymph nodes, and the factors that maintain this population in the periphery have not been elucidated. Here we show that NKT17 cells deviate from other NKT cells in their survival requirements. In contrast to conventional NKT cells that are maintained by IL-15, RORγt(+) NKT cells are IL-15 independent and instead rely completely on IL-7. IL-7 initiates a T-cell receptor-independent (TCR-independent) expansion of NKT17 cells, thus supporting their home..

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Awarded by National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Australia

Funding Acknowledgements

We thank the Biological Testing Facility (Garvan Institute) for animal breeding. We thank Robert Salomon and David Snowden for cell sorting, Amanda Hong for genotyping, and Marcin Ciula for CD1d tetramer preparation. This work was supported by National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Australia grants 1045647 (K.E.W.), 1011388 (J-H.C.), 454569/1013667 (D.I.G.), 1047903 (G.T.B), 1016953 (J.S.) and fellowships 1020770 (D.I.G.), 596805 (J.S.), and Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (G.T.B.).