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J Exp Med. 2004 Jan 19;199(2):221-9. Epub 2004 Jan 12.

Beta-catenin is dispensable for hematopoiesis and lymphopoiesis.

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  • 1Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Lausanne Branch, University of Lausanne, Epalinges, Switzerland.


Beta-catenin-mediated Wnt signaling has been suggested to be critically involved in hematopoietic stem cell maintenance and development of T and B cells in the immune system. Unexpectedly, here we report that inducible Cre-loxP-mediated inactivation of the beta-catenin gene in bone marrow progenitors does not impair their ability to self-renew and reconstitute all hematopoietic lineages (myeloid, erythroid, and lymphoid), even in competitive mixed chimeras. In addition, both thymocyte survival and antigen-induced proliferation of peripheral T cells is beta-catenin independent. In contrast to earlier reports, these data exclude an essential role for beta-catenin during hematopoiesis and lymphopoiesis.

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