• Adult murine hematopoiesis can proceed without beta1 and beta7 integrins.

      Bungartz, Gerd; Stiller, Sebastian; Bauer, Martina; Müller, Werner; Schippers, Angela; Wagner, Norbert; Fässler, Reinhard; Brakebusch, Cord (2006-09-15)
      The function of alpha4beta1 and alpha4beta7 integrins in hematopoiesis is controversial. While some experimental evidence suggests a crucial role for these integrins in retention and expansion of progenitor cells and lymphopoiesis, others report a less important role in hematopoiesis. Using mice with a deletion of the beta1 and the beta7 integrin genes restricted to the hematopoietic system we show here that alpha4beta1 and alpha4beta7 integrins are not essential for differentiation of lymphocytes or myelocytes. However, beta1beta7 mutant mice displayed a transient increase of colony-forming unit (CFU-C) progenitors in the bone marrow and, after phenylhydrazine-induced anemia, a decreased number of splenic erythroid colony-forming units in culture (CFUe's). Array gene expression analysis of CD4(+)CD8(+) double-positive (DP) and CD4(-)CD8(-) double-negative (DN) thymocytes and CD19(+) and CD4(+) splenocytes did not provide any evidence for a compensatory mechanism explaining the mild phenotype. These data show that alpha4beta1 and alpha4beta7 are not required for blood cell differentiation, although in their absence alterations in numbers and distribution of progenitor cells were observed.
    • Serum response factor contributes selectively to lymphocyte development.

      Fleige, Anne; Alberti, Siegfried; Gröbe, Lothar; Frischmann, Ursula; Geffers, Robert; Müller, Werner; Nordheim, Alfred; Schippers, Angela; Department of Experimental Immunology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2007-08-17)
      Serum response factor (SRF), is a crucial transcription factor for murine embryonic development and for the function of muscle cells and neurons. Gene expression data show that SRF and its transcriptional cofactors are also expressed in lymphocyte precursors and mature lymphocytes. However, the role of SRF in lymphocyte development has not been addressed in vivo so far, attributed in part to early embryonic lethality of conventional Srf-null mice. To determine the in vivo role of SRF in developing lymphocytes, we specifically inactivated the murine Srf gene during T or B cell development using lymphocyte-specific Cre transgenic mouse lines. T cell-specific Srf deletion led to a severe block in thymocyte development at the transition from CD4/CD8 double to single positive stage. The few residual T cells detectable in the periphery retained at least one functional Srf allele, thereby demonstrating the importance of SRF in T cell development. In contrast, deletion of Srf in developing B cells did not interfere with the growth and survival of B cells in general, yet led to a complete loss of marginal zone B cells and a marked reduction of the CD5+ B cell subset. Our study also revealed a contribution of SRF to the expression of the surface molecules IgM, CD19, and the chemokine receptor 4 in B lymphocytes. We conclude that SRF fulfills essential and distinct functions in the differentiation of different types of lymphocytes.