Tissue-specific expression of the human CD19 gene in transgenic mice inhibits antigen-independent B-lymphocyte development.
CD19 is a B-cell-specific member of the immunoglobulin superfamily expressed from early pre-B-cell development until plasma cell differentiation. In vitro studies demonstrate that the CD19 signal transduction molecule can serve as a costimulatory molecule for activation through other B-lymphocyte cell surface molecules. However, much remains to be known regarding how CD19 functions in vivo and whether CD19 has different roles at particular stages of B-cell differentiation. Therefore, transgenic mice overexpressing the human CD19 (hCD19) gene were generated to determine whether this transgene would be expressed in a B-lineage-specific fashion and to dissect the in vivo role of CD19 in B-cell development and activation. Expression of the human transgene product was specifically restricted to all B-lineage cells and appeared early in development as occurs with hCD19. In addition, expression of hCD19 severely impaired the development of immature B cells in the bone marrow, with dramatically fewer B cells found in the spleen, peripheral circulation, and peritoneal cavity. The level of hCD19 expressed on the cell surface correlated directly with the severity of the defect in different transgenic lines. These results demonstrate that the hCD19 gene is expressed in a lineage-specific fashion in mice, indicating that the hCD19 gene may be useful for mediating B-lineage-specific expression of other transgene products. In addition, these results indicate an important role for the lineage-specific CD19 molecule during early B-cell development before antigen-dependent activation.
Zhou, LJ; Smith, HM; Waldschmidt, TJ; Schwarting, R; Daley, J; Tedder, TF
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