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Genes Dev. 1997 Dec 15;11(24):3482-96.

Requirement for NF-kappaB in osteoclast and B-cell development.

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Laboratory of Immunoregulation, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


NF-kappaB is a family of related, dimeric transcription factors that are readily activated in cells by signals associated with stress or pathogens. These factors are critical to host defense, as demonstrated previously with mice deficient in individual subunits of NF-kappaB. We have generated mice deficient in both the p50 and p52 subunits of NF-kappaB to reveal critical functions that may be shared by these two highly homologous proteins. We now demonstrate that unlike the respective single knockout mice, the p50/p52 double knockout mice fail to generate mature osteoclasts and B cells, apparently because of defects that track with these lineages in adoptive transfer experiments. Furthermore, these mice present markedly impaired thymic and splenic architectures and impaired macrophage functions. The blocks in osteoclast and B-cell maturation were unexpected. Lack of mature osteoclasts caused severe osteopetrosis, a family of diseases characterized by impaired osteoclastic bone resorption. These findings now establish critical roles for NF-kappaB in development and expand its repertoire of roles in the physiology of differentiated hematopoietic cells.

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