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Targeted disruption of Bcl-2 alpha beta in mice: occurrence of gray hair, polycystic kidney disease, and lymphocytopenia.

Nakayama K., Nakayama K., Negishi I., Kuida K., Sawa H., Loh D.Y.

Mice carrying ablated coding regions of the bcl-2 alpha and bcl-2 beta transcripts have been made. bcl-2-/-mutants are smaller but viable, although about half of them die by 6 weeks of age. As shown earlier with somatic bcl-2 gene-targeted mice, the number of lymphocytes markedly decreased within few weeks after birth while other hematopoietic lineages remained unaffected. Among lymphocytes, CD8+ T cells disappeared most quickly followed by CD4+ T cells, whereas B cells were least affected. bcl-2-/-lymphocytes, however, could respond normally to various stimuli including anti-CD3, Con A, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate plus ionomycin, interleukin 2, lipopolysaccharide, and anti-IgM antibody. Abnormalities among nonlymphoid organs include smaller auricles, hair color turning gray at 4-5 weeks of age, and polycystic kidney disease-like change of renal tubules. These results suggest that Bcl-2 may be involved during morphogenesis where inductive interactions between epithelium and mesenchyme are important such as in the kidneys, hair follicles, and perichondrium of auricles. Surprisingly, the nervous system, intestines, and skin appear normal despite the fact that these organs show high levels of endogenous Bcl-2 expression in normal mice.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 91:3700-3704(1994) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]