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J Immunol. 2003 Nov 15;171(10):5042-50.

Loss of tolerance and autoimmunity affecting multiple organs in STAT5A/5B-deficient mice.

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  • 1Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology, and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94114, USA.


STAT5 has previously been reported to be dispensable for the maintenance of tolerance in vivo. However, in examining hemopoiesis in mice lacking both isoforms of STAT5, STAT5A, and STAT5B, we noted that a subset of these mice demonstrated dramatic alterations in several bone marrow progenitor populations concomitant with lymphocytic infiltration of the bone marrow. In addition, cellular infiltration affecting the colon, liver, and kidney was observed in these mice. Survival analysis revealed that STAT5A/5B(-/-) mice exhibited early death. The increased mortality and the pathology affecting multiple organs observed in these mice were abrogated on the recombination-activating gene 1(-/-) background. In light of the similarities between STAT5A/5B-deficient mice and mice unable to signal through the IL-2R, we hypothesized that the tolerizing role of STAT5A/5B was triggered via activation of the IL-2R. In agreement with this, we found that IL-2Rbeta chain-deficient mice exhibited similar hemopoietic abnormalities. Because IL-2 signaling is thought to contribute to tolerance through maintenance of a CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cell population, we examined these cells and observed a numerical reduction in STAT5A/5B(-/-) mice along with a higher rate of apoptosis. These data provide strong evidence for a requirement for STAT5 in the maintenance of tolerance in vivo.

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