How immune cells called ILC2s are guided to the site of inflammation
Your immune system rapidly responds to protect you whenever you’re injured, or invaded by microorganisms or parasites. Inflammation is a key part of this activation, rallying the troops. It’s at the heart of both healthy protection and allergic reactions, so understanding the details is important for developing new treatments. While a group of cells called ILC2s (group 2 innate lymphoid cells, green in the slice of mouse lung pictured) were known to play an important role in inflammation, what drove them wasn’t clear. A new study now shows that they home towards specific chemokines – signalling proteins – and are guided along the way by the extracellular matrix – the structure surrounding cells (shown in pink and blue). Knowing that structural cues from this matrix, along with molecular guiding lights, steer ILC2 behaviour during inflammation helps our understanding of both allergic and disease-fighting reactions, which may eventually help us intervene when needed.
Written by Anthony Lewis
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.
BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.