Lymphoid tissue inducer (LTi)-like cells are tissue resident innate lymphocytes that rapidly secrete cytokines that promote gut epithelial integrity and protect against extracellular bacterial infections.Here, we report that the retention of LTi-like cells in conventional solitary intestinal lymphoid tissue (SILT) is essential for controlling LTi-like cell function and is maintained by expression of the chemokine receptor CXCR5. Deletion of Cxcr5 functionally unleashed LTi-like cells in a cell intrinsic manner, leading to uncontrolled IL-17 and IL-22 production. The elevated production of IL-22 in Cxcr5-deficient mice improved gut barrier integrity and protected mice during infection with the opportunistic pathogen Clostridium difficile. Interestingly, Cxcr5/ mice developed LTi-like cell aggregates that were displaced from their typical niche at the intestinal crypt, and LTi-like cell hyperresponsiveness was associated with the local formation of this unconventional SILT. Thus, LTi-like cell positioning within mucosa controls their activity via niche-specific signals that temper cytokine production during homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2101668118
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 8 2021


  • CXCR5
  • Innate lymphoid cells
  • Intestine
  • Lymphoid tissue
  • Mucosal immunity


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