Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs), as an important component of the innate immune system, arise from a common lymphoid progenitor and are located in mucosal barriers and various tissues, including the intestine, skin, lung, and adipose tissue. ILCs are heterogeneous subsets of lymphocytes that have emerging roles in orchestrating immune response and contribute to maintain metabolic homeostasis and regulate tissue inflammation. Currently, more details about the pathways for the development and differentiation of ILCs have largely been elucidated, and cytokine secretion and downstream immune cell responses in disease pathogenesis have been reported. Recent research has identified that several distinct subsets of ILCs at skin barriers are involved in the complex regulatory network in local immunity, potentiating adaptive immunity and the inflammatory response. Of note, additional studies that assess the effects of ILCs are required to better define how ILCs regulate their development and functions and how they interact with other immune cells in autoimmune-related and inflammatory skin disorders. In this review, we will distill recent research progress in ILC biology, abnormal functions and potential pathogenic mechanisms in autoimmune-related skin diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), scleroderma and inflammatory diseases, as well as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis (AD), thereby giving a comprehensive review of the diversity and plasticity of ILCs and their unique functions in disease conditions with the aim to provide new insights into molecular diagnosis and suggest potential value in immunotherapy.
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