TCL1, the overexpression of which may result in T-cell leukemia, is normally expressed in early embryonic tissues, the ovary, and lymphoid lineage cells. Our analysis of mouse B-lineage cells indicates that Tcl1 expression is initiated in pro-B cells and persists in splenic marginal zone and follicular B cells. T-lineage Tcl1 expression begins in thymocyte progenitors, continues in CD4+CD8+ thymocytes, and is extinguished in mature T cells. In Tcl1-deficient mice, we found B lymphopoiesis to be compromised at the pre-B cell stage and T-cell lymphopoiesis to be impaired at the CD4 +CD8+ thymocyte stage. A corresponding increase was observed in thymocyte susceptibility to anti-CD3ε-induced apoptosis. Reduced numbers of splenic follicular and germinal center B cells were accompanied by impaired production of immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) and IgG2b antibodies in response to a T-dependent antigen. The marginal zone B cells and T-cell-independent antibody responses were also diminished in Tcl1-/- mice. This analysis indicates a significant role for Tcl1, a coactivator of Akt signaling, in normal T- and B-cell development and function.
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