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Increased proliferation of B cells and auto-immunity in mice lacking protein kinase Cdelta.

Miyamoto A., Nakayama K., Imaki H., Hirose S., Jiang Y., Abe M., Tsukiyama T., Nagahama H., Ohno S., Hatakeyama S., Nakayama K.I.

Protein kinase C (PKC), which comprises 11 closely related isoforms, has been implicated in a wide variety of cellular processes, such as growth, differentiation, secretion, apoptosis and tumour development. Among the PKC isotypes, PKC-delta is unique in that its overexpression results in inhibition of cell growth. Here we show that mice that lack PKC-delta exhibit expansion of the B-lymphocyte population with the formation of numerous germinal centres in the absence of stimulation. The rate of proliferation in response to stimulation was greater for B cells from PKC-delta-deficient mice than for those from wild-type mice. Adoptive transfer experiments suggested that the hyperproliferation phenotype is B-cell autonomous. Production of interleukin-6 was markedly increased in B cells of PKC-delta-null mice as a result of an increase in the DNA-binding activity of NF-IL6. Furthermore, the PKC-delta-deficient mice contain circulating autoreactive antibodies and display immune-complex-type glomerulonephritis, as well as lymphocyte infiltration in many organs. These results suggest that PKC-delta has an indispensable function in negative regulation of B-cell proliferation, and is particularly important for the establishment of B-cell tolerance.

Nature 416:865-869(2002) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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