Enrichment of innate lymphoid cell populations in gingival tissue

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E-pub ahead of print



  • J.L. Brown
  • L. Campbell
  • J. Malcolm
  • A. Adrados Planell
  • J.P. Butcher
  • S. Culshaw

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Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Dental Research
StateE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jun 2018


Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are a population of lymphocytes that act as the first line of immunologic defense at mucosal surfaces. The ILC family in the skin, lungs, and gastrointestinal tissues has been investigated, and there are reports of individual subsets of ILCs in the oral tissues. We sought to investigate the whole ILC population (group 1, 2, and 3 subsets) in the murine gingivae and the lymph nodes draining the oral cavity. We show that ILCs made up a greater proportion of the whole CD45+ lymphocyte population in the murine gingivae (0.356% ± 0.039%) as compared with the proportion of ILCs in the draining lymph nodes (0.158% ± 0.005%). Cytokine profiling of the ILC populations demonstrated different proportions of ILC subsets in the murine gingivae versus the regional lymph nodes. The majority of ILCs in the draining lymph nodes expressed IL-5, whereas there were equal proportions of IFN-¿- and IL-5 expressing ILCs in the oral mucosa. The percentage of IL-17+ ILCs was comparable between the murine gingivae and the oral draining lymph nodes. These data suggest an enrichment of ILCs in the murine gingivae, and these ILCs reflect a cytokine profile discrepant to that of the local draining lymph nodes. These studies indicate diversity and enrichment of ILCs at the oral mucosal surface. The function of ILCs in the oral cavity remains to be determined; here, we provide a premise of ILC populations that merits future consideration in investigations of mouse models and human tissues.


  • innate immunity, cytokines, lymphocytes, oral cavity, mucosal immunity, flow cytometry