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Rapid-response immune cells are fully prepared before invasion strikes

Through the use of powerful genomic techniques, researchers at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) have found that the development of immune cells, called innate lymphoid cells (ILCs), gradually prepares these cells for rapid response to infection. This work, which appeared online in Cell, sheds light on the development and function of a cell type that is increasingly recognized as having an important role in the body’s immune defense. NIAMS is part of the National Institutes of Health.

An array of lymphoid cells
Researchers at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) have discovered that innate lymphoid cells, early responders of the immune system, are primed at the DNA level for rapid action.
Credit: Han-Yu Shih and John O’Shea, NIAMS, Alan Hoofring, NIH Division of Medical Arts.