Indexed on: 23 Jan '16Published on: 23 Jan '16Published in: Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Type 1 innate lymphocytes comprise two developmentally divergent lineages, type 1 helper innate lymphoid cells (hILC1s) and conventional NK cells (cNKs). All type 1 innate lymphocytes (ILCs) express the transcription factor T-bet, but cNKs additionally express Eomesodermin (Eomes). We show that deletion of Eomes alleles at the onset of type 1 ILC maturation using NKp46-Cre imposes a substantial block in cNK development. Formation of the entire lymphoid and nonlymphoid type 1 ILC compartment appears to require the semiredundant action of both T-bet and Eomes. To determine if Eomes is sufficient to redirect hILC1 development to a cNK fate, we generated transgenic mice that express Eomes when and where T-bet is expressed using Tbx21 locus control to drive expression of Eomes codons. Ectopic Eomes induces cNK-like properties across the lymphoid and nonlymphoid type 1 ILC compartments. Subsequent to their divergent lineage specification, hILC1s and cNKs thus possess substantial developmental plasticity.