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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Mar 5;93(5):2131-6.

Enhanced and accelerated lymphoproliferation in Fas-null mice.

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  • 1Osaka Bioscience Institute, Japan.


Fas is a 45-kDa membrane protein that transduces an apoptotic signal. The mouse lymphoproliferation (lpr) mutation is a leaky mutation of Fas. In this study, we examined lymphocyte development in Fas-null mice generated by gene targeting. The Fas-/- mice progressively accumulated abnormal T cells (Thy1+, B220+, CD4-, and CD8-) and developed lymphadenopathy and splenomegaly, which were much more accelerated and pronounced than those in lpr mice. In addition, the Fas-null mice showed lymphocytosis, accompanied by lymphocytic infiltration in the lungs and liver. The number of apparently normal B cells also increased, and large amounts of immunoglobulins, including anti-DNA antibodies, were produced. Thymic clonal deletion, assessed by deletion of T cells reactive to mouse endogenous superantigens, was apparently normal in the Fas-/- mice, whereas the peripheral clonal deletion of mature T cells against a bacterial superantigen was impaired. These results suggested that Fas plays a decisive role in peripheral clonal deletion but not in negative selection in the thymus.

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