Leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) is a cytokine involved in embryonic and hematopoietic development. To investigate the effects of LIF on the lymphoid system, we generated a line of transgenic mice that expresses diffusible LIF protein specifically in T cells. These mice display two categories of phenotype that were not previously attributed to LIF overexpression. First, they display B cell hyperplasia, polyclonal hypergammaglobulinemia and mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis, defects similar to those described for transgenic mice overexpressing the functionally related cytokine, interleukin-6. Secondly, the LIF transgenic mice display novel thymic and lymph node abnormalities. In the thymus, cortical CD4+CD8+ lymphocytes are lost, while numerous B cell follicles develop. Peripheral lymph nodes contain a vastly expanded CD4+CD8+ lymphocyte population. Furthermore, the thymic epithelium is profoundly disorganized, suggesting that disruption of stroma-lymphocyte interactions is responsible for many observed defects. Transplantation of transgenic bone marrow into wild type recipients transfers both the thymic and lymph node defects. However, transplantation of wild type marrow into transgenic recipients rescues the lymph node abnormality, but not the thymic defect, indicating the thymic epithelium is irreversibly altered. Our observations are consistent with a role for LIF in maintaining a functional thymic epithelium that will support proper T cell maturation.
|Number of pages||11|
|State||Published - Mar 15 1994|
- B cell hyperplasia
- CD4CD8 T cells
- Leukemia inhibitory factor
- Stroma-lymphocyte interactions
- Transgenic mouse