Impaired B cell development and function in mice with a targeted disruption of the homeobox gene Hex

Clifford W. Bogue*, Ping Xia Zhang, James McGrath, Harris C. Jacobs, Ramsay L. Fuleihan

*Corresponding author for this work

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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 languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)556-561
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 21 2003


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