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J Exp Med. 1998 Jan 19;187(2):185-96.

Nuclear factor (NF)-kappa B2 (p100/p52) is required for normal splenic microarchitecture and B cell-mediated immune responses.

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Department of Oncology, Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Princeton, New Jersey 08543-4000, USA.


The nfkb2 gene is a member of the Rel/NF-kappa B family of transcription factors. COOH-terminal deletions and rearrangements of this gene have been associated with the development of human cutaneous T cell lymphomas, chronic lymphocytic leukemias, and multiple myelomas. To further investigate the function of NF-kappa B2, we have generated mutant mice carrying a germline mutation of the nfkb2 gene by homologous recombination. NF-kappa B2-deficient mice showed a marked reduction in the B cell compartment in spleen, bone marrow, and lymph nodes. Moreover, spleen and lymph nodes of mutant mice presented an altered architecture, characterized by diffuse, irregular B cell areas and the absence of discrete perifollicular marginal and mantle zones; the formation of secondary germinal centers in spleen was also impaired. Proliferation of NF-kappa B2-deficient B cells was moderately reduced in response to lipopolysaccharide, anti-IgD-dextran, and CD40, but maturation and immunoglobulin switching were normal. However, nfkb2 (-/-) animals presented a deficient immunological response to T cell-dependent and -independent antigens. These findings indicate an important role of NF-kappa B2 in the maintenance of the peripheral B cell population, humoral responses, and normal spleen architecture.

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