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Nat Med. 1996 Jan;2(1):80-6.

Bcl-2 protects from lethal hepatic apoptosis induced by an anti-Fas antibody in mice.

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Institut Cochin de Génétique Moléculaire, U 129 INSERM, Université René Descartes, Paris, France.


Fas is an apoptosis-signalling cell surface antigen that has been shown to trigger cell death upon specific ligand or antibody binding. Treatment of mice with an anti-Fas antibody causes fulminant hepatic failure due to massive apoptosis. To test a putative protective effect of the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 protein, transgenic mice were generated to express the human bcl-2 gene product in hepatocytes. Early onset of massive hepatic apoptosis leading to death was observed in all nontransgenic mice treated with an anti-Fas antibody. By contrast, hepatic apoptosis was delayed and dramatically reduced in transgenic animals, yielding a 93% survival rate. These results demonstrate that Bcl-2 is able to protect from in vivo Fas-mediated cytotoxicity, and could be of significance for preventing fulminant hepatic failure due to viral hepatitis in humans.

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