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Oncogene. 1998 May 7;16(18):2333-43.

Lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, and altered immunoglobulin production in BCL3 transgenic mice.

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University of Chicago, Department of Medicine, Illinois 60637, USA.


The candidate proto-oncogene BCL3 was isolated through its involvement in the t(14;19) found in chronic lymphocytic leukemia and other B-cell neoplasms. As a member of the I kappaB family, BCL3 plays a role in the immune response by interactions with the NF-kappaB family of transcription factors. In order to study the role of BCL3 overexpression in lymphoid malignancies, we generated five lines of E mu-BCL3 transgenic mice. Transgenic animals develop normally but show splenomegaly and an accumulation of mature B cells in lymph nodes, bone marrow and peritoneal cavity. A hyperresponsive immune system is suggested by the follicular hyperplasia and plasmacytosis in lymph nodes of unimmunized animals, increased incidence of antibodies to self-antigens, and a heightened response to cross-linking of surface IgM. Statistically significant decreases in serum IgM and IgG3, but an increase in IgG1 and IgA were also observed. No lymphoid neoplasms have been identified in transgenic animals. The expansion of B cells in vivo is consistent with the overexpression of BCL3 as being one step in the multi-step process of leukemogenesis. The phenotype also suggests that BCL3 plays a part in B cell proliferation and isotype switching.

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