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

T cell-specific ablation of Fas leads to Fas ligand-mediated lymphocyte depletion and inflammatory pulmonary fibrosis.

To study the role of Fas-Fas ligand (FasL) interaction-mediated apoptosis in lymphocyte homeostasis, we generated a mutant fas allele allowing conditional inactivation of the fas gene through Cre-mediated recombination. Experiments in which Fas was ablated in T cells, B cells, T and B cells, or in a more generalized manner demonstrated that the development of lymphoproliferative disease as seen in Fas-deficient mice requires Fas ablation in lymphoid and nonlymphoid tissues. Selective inactivation of Fas in T cells led to a severe lymphopenia over time, accompanied by up-regulation of FasL on activated T cells and apoptosis of peripheral lymphocytes. In addition, the mutant animals developed a fatal wasting syndrome caused by massive leukocyte infiltration in the lungs together with increased inflammatory cytokine production and pulmonary fibrosis. Inhibition of Fas-FasL interaction in vivo completely prevented the loss of lymphocytes and initial lymphocyte infiltration in the lungs. Thus, FasL-mediated interaction of activated, Fas-deficient T cells with Fas-expressing cells in their environment leads to break down of lymphocyte homeostasis and development of a lung disease strikingly resembling idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in humans, a common and severe disease for which the mutant mice may serve as a first animal model.[1]


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