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Blood. 2000 Jun 1;95(11):3363-70.

Intramedullary and extramedullary B lymphopoiesis in osteopetrotic mice.

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Department of Immunology, School of Life Science, Faculty of Medicine, Tottori University, Yonago, Tottori, Japan.


Adult bone marrow is a major site for hematopoiesis, and reduction of the bone marrow cavity induces hematopoiesis in extramarrow tissues. To investigate the rudimentary intramarrow and the compensatory extramarrow hematopoiesis, particularly B lymphopoiesis, we used 3 osteopetrotic mouse strains [op/op, mi/mi, and Fos (-/-)], which are severely deficient in functional osteoclasts and therefore form inadequate bone marrow cavities. We found that bone marrow in these osteopetrotic mice supports myelopoiesis but not B lymphopoiesis, although cells that have the potential to differentiate into B lineage cells are present in the bone marrow. Although B lymphopoiesis normally occurs both in the spleen and liver of newborn mice, compensatory B lymphopoiesis in adult op/op and mi/mi mice is observed only in the liver, while myelopoiesis is enhanced in both organs. Interestingly, mice lacking the Fos proto-oncogene exhibit B lymphopoiesis in the spleen as well as liver. The amounts of expression of steel factor, Flt3/Flk-2 ligand, and interleukin-7 in the bone marrow, spleen, or liver were not significantly affected in these osteopetrotic mutants. These findings suggest that the volume of the bone marrow cavity regulates B lymphopoiesis without affecting the production of certain hematopoietic growth factors. The splenic microenvironments that support both myelopoiesis and B lymphopoiesis in the neonatal stage are lost in adults and are not reactivated even in the osteopetrotic adults unless the Fos gene is disrupted.

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