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Oncogene. 1997 Jan 30;14(4):425-30.

In bone marrow derived Baf-3 cells, inhibition of apoptosis by IL-3 is mediated by two independent pathways.

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Immunologie cellulaire, LBMC de L'ENS Lyon CNRS UMR49 INRA LA 913, France.


The inhibition of cell death by growth factors plays a key role in the maintenance of the haematopoietic system homeostasis. However the mechanisms involved in this inhibition are still poorly understood. In order to determine if inhibition of apoptosis by growth factors is dependent only on the expression of survival genes, we have studied that process in the bone marrow derived IL-3 dependent cell line Baf-3. We show that, following IL-3 starvation, mRNA and protein levels of Bcl-X but not Bcl-2 decrease rapidly preceeding the onset of death. The death of IL-3 starved cells is asynchronous, starting between 6 to 8 h with 50% death being reached after 10 to 12 h. At any time point, apoptosis can be rapidly inhibited by growth factor re-addition. This has allowed us to determine that the inhibition of apoptosis by growth factor takes place at two levels. The first one, which we have called short term inhibition, is independent of mRNA and protein synthesis i.e. it takes place in the absence of survival gene neosynthesis and can be demonstrated during the first 6 h following growth factor re-addition. The second one corresponds to long-term survival-more than 24 h survival-and is strongly correlated with the induction of Bcl-X but not Bcl-2 gene expression. This induction of Bcl-X by IL-3 is shown to be dependent on MAP-kinase activation.

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