Tertiary lymphoid structures (TLSs) are a common finding in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and are predictors of favourable clinical outcome. Here we show that NCR+ innate lymphoid cell (ILC)-3 are present in the lymphoid infiltrate of human NSCLC and are mainly localized at the edge of tumour-associated TLSs. This intra-tumoral lymphocyte subset is endowed with lymphoid tissue-inducing properties and, on activation, produces IL-22, TNF-α, IL-8 and IL-2, and activates endothelial cells. Tumour NCR+ ILC3 may interact with both lung tumour cells and tumour-associated fibroblasts, resulting in the release of cytokines primarily on engagement of the NKp44-activating receptor. In patients, NCR+ ILC3 are present in significantly higher amounts in stage I/II NSCLC than in more advanced tumour stages and their presence correlate with the density of intratumoral TLSs. Our results indicate that NCR+ ILC3 accumulate in human NSCLC tissue and might contribute to the formation of protective tumour-associated TLSs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)