The Ly49E NK receptor is a unique inhibitory receptor, presenting with a high degree of conservation among mouse strains and expression on both NK cells and intraepithelial-localised T cells. Amongst intraepithelial-localised T cells, the Ly49E receptor is abundantly expressed on CD8[alpha][alpha]-expressing innate-like intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (iIELs), which contribute to front-line defense at the mucosal barrier. Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), encompassing Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, have previously been suggested to have an autoreactive origin and to evolve from a dysbalance between regulatory and effector functions in the intestinal immune system. Here, we made use of Ly49E-deficient mice to characterize the role of Ly49E receptor expression on CD8[alpha][alpha]-expressing iIELs in the development and progression of IBD. For this purpose we used the dextran sodium sulphate (DSS)- and trinitrobenzenesulfonic-acid (TNBS)-induced colitis models, and the TNF.sup.[DELTA]ARE ileitis model. We show that Ly49E is expressed on a high proportion of CD8[alpha][alpha]-positive iIELs, with higher expression in the colon as compared to the small intestine. However, Ly49E expression on small intestinal and colonic iIELs does not influence the development or progression of inflammatory bowel diseases.