Immune deficiency due to high copy numbers of an Aβk transgene

Susan Gilfillan, Sadakazu Aiso, Sara A. Michie, Hugh O. Mcdevitt

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39 Citations (Scopus)


Because allelic polymorphism of the major histocompatibility complex class II antigens affects the immune response at several levels, we wished to characterize the contribution of a particular α or β chain in vivo using transgenic mice. We have established and characterized 12 lines of H-2s/s mice carrying from 1 to 65 copies of an Aβk transgene. The transgene was coexpressed with the endogenous allele in a tissue-specific manner, and Aβk mRNA expression correlated well with transgene copy number. High copy number (extreme overexpression) of the transgene was associated with a variety of defects, including a significant reduction in Ia cell-surface expression, a severe decrease in B-cell number, abnormal extramedullary granulopoiesis, and an increased susceptibility to infection. In this paper we describe in detail the phenotype associated with high copy numbers of the Aβk transgene. The defects we have observed may be relevant to similar phenomena seen in other transgenic mice. In addition, these mice have fortuitously provided a system in which to assess the effect of various levels of class II cell-surface expression in the thymus on selection of the T-cell repertoire.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7319-7323
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 1990 Sept
Externally publishedYes


  • Class II
  • Transgenic mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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