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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Reduced dosage of Bruton's tyrosine kinase uncouples B cell hyperresponsiveness from autoimmunity in lyn-/- mice.

The development of autoimmunity is correlated with heightened sensitivity of B cells to B cell Ag receptor (BCR) cross-linking. BCR signals are down-regulated by Lyn, which phosphorylates inhibitory receptors. lyn(-/-) mice have reduced BCR signaling thresholds and develop autoantibodies, glomerulonephritis, splenomegaly due to myeloid hyperplasia, and increased B-1 cell numbers. Bruton's tyrosine kinase (Btk), a critical component of BCR signaling pathways, is required for autoantibody production in lyn(-/-) mice. It is unclear whether Btk mediates autoimmunity at the level of BCR signal transduction or B cell development, given that lyn(-/-)Btk(-/-) mice have a severe reduction in conventional B and B-1 cell numbers. To address this issue, we crossed a transgene expressing a low dosage of Btk (Btk(low)) in B cells to lyn(-/-)Btk(-/-) mice. Conventional B cell populations were restored to levels similar to those in lyn(-/-) mice. These cells were as hypersensitive to BCR cross-linking as lyn(-/-) B cells as measured by proliferation, Ca(2+) flux, and activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase and Akt. However, lyn(-/-)Btk(low) mice did not produce anti-ssDNA, anti-dsDNA, anti-histone, or anti-histone/DNA IgM or IgG. They also lacked B-1 cells and did not exhibit splenomegaly. Thus, B cell hyperresponsiveness is insufficient for autoimmunity in lyn(-/-) mice. These studies implicate B-1 and/or myeloid cells as key contributors to the lyn(-/-) autoimmune phenotype.[1]


  1. Reduced dosage of Bruton's tyrosine kinase uncouples B cell hyperresponsiveness from autoimmunity in lyn-/- mice. Whyburn, L.R., Halcomb, K.E., Contreras, C.M., Lowell, C.A., Witte, O.N., Satterthwaite, A.B. J. Immunol. (2003) [Pubmed]
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