Hex is a homeobox gene that is expressed in all stages of B cell development except plasma cells. We studied lymphocyte development in the absence of Hex by using the RAG1-deficient blastocyst complementation system because homozygous disruption of Hex is embryonic lethal. Hex-/-;RAG1-/- chimeric mice had severely reduced numbers of mature B cells, pre-B cells, and CD5+ B cells with a striking 15-fold increase in the percentage of B220-CD19+ cells in the bone marrow. Hex-/-;RAG1-/- chimeric mice failed to generate IgG antibodies to T cell-independent antigens, although their serum IgM levels and antibody responses to T cell-dependent antigens were intact. Therefore, Hex is necessary for B cell development and function and its absence results in a dramatic increase in B220-CD19+ cells.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Jan 21 2003|
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