Indexed on: 08 Sep '16Published on: 08 Sep '16Published in: European Journal of Immunology
Recent studies of immune populations in nonlymphoid organs have highlighted the great diversity of the innate lymphoid system. It has also become apparent that mouse and human innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) have distinct phenotypes and properties. In this issue of the European Journal of Immunology, Harmon et al. [Eur. J. Immunol. 2016. 46: 2111-2120] characterized human hepatic NK-cell subsets. The authors report that hepatic CD56(bright) NK cells resemble mouse liver ILC1s in that they express CXCR6 and have an immature phenotype. However, unlike mouse ILC1s, they express high levels of Eomes and low levels of T-bet, and upon stimulation with tumor cells, secrete low amounts of cytokines. These unexpected findings further support the differences between human and mouse immune populations and prompt the study of the role of hepatic ILC subsets in immune responses.