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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Mar 16;96(6):2994-9.

Absence of tumor necrosis factor rescues RelA-deficient mice from embryonic lethality.

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  • 1Laboratory of Immunology, Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute, Nagoya 464, Japan.


Mice lacking the RelA (p65) subunit of NF-kappaB die between days 14 and 15 of embryogenesis because of massive liver destruction. Fibroblasts and macrophages isolated from relA-/- embryos were found to be highly sensitive to tumor necrosis factor (TNF) cytotoxicity, raising the possibility that endogenous TNF is the cause of liver cell apoptosis. To test this idea, we generated mice lacking both TNF and RelA. Embryogenesis proceeds normally in such mice, and TNF/RelA double-deficient mice are viable and have normal livers. Thus, the RelA-mediated antiapoptotic signal that protects normal cells from TNF injury in vitro can be shown to be operative in vivo.

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