Send to

Choose Destination
J Immunol. 2003 Aug 15;171(4):1850-8.

Reduced dosage of Bruton's tyrosine kinase uncouples B cell hyperresponsiveness from autoimmunity in lyn-/- mice.

Author information

Harold Simmons Arthritis Research Center, Department of Internal Medicine and Center for Immunology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390, USA.


The development of autoimmunity is correlated with heightened sensitivity of B cells to B cell Ag receptor (BCR) cross-linking. BCR signals are down-regulated by Lyn, which phosphorylates inhibitory receptors. lyn(-/-) mice have reduced BCR signaling thresholds and develop autoantibodies, glomerulonephritis, splenomegaly due to myeloid hyperplasia, and increased B-1 cell numbers. Bruton's tyrosine kinase (Btk), a critical component of BCR signaling pathways, is required for autoantibody production in lyn(-/-) mice. It is unclear whether Btk mediates autoimmunity at the level of BCR signal transduction or B cell development, given that lyn(-/-)Btk(-/-) mice have a severe reduction in conventional B and B-1 cell numbers. To address this issue, we crossed a transgene expressing a low dosage of Btk (Btk(low)) in B cells to lyn(-/-)Btk(-/-) mice. Conventional B cell populations were restored to levels similar to those in lyn(-/-) mice. These cells were as hypersensitive to BCR cross-linking as lyn(-/-) B cells as measured by proliferation, Ca(2+) flux, and activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase and Akt. However, lyn(-/-)Btk(low) mice did not produce anti-ssDNA, anti-dsDNA, anti-histone, or anti-histone/DNA IgM or IgG. They also lacked B-1 cells and did not exhibit splenomegaly. Thus, B cell hyperresponsiveness is insufficient for autoimmunity in lyn(-/-) mice. These studies implicate B-1 and/or myeloid cells as key contributors to the lyn(-/-) autoimmune phenotype.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center