Control of lymphocyte development by nuclear factor-kappaB

Nat Rev Immunol. 2005 Jun;5(6):435-45. doi: 10.1038/nri1629.


The evolutionarily conserved nuclear factor-kappaB family of transcription factors is known to have a crucial role in rapid responses to stress and pathogens, inducing transcription of many genes that are essential for host defence. Now, studies of mice that are deficient in nuclear factor-kappaB-family members (or deficient in the activation of these factors) reveal that nuclear factor-kappaB is extensively involved in the development of T cells and B cells. And, as we review here, although these factors have several roles, their primary cell-autonomous function is to ensure lymphocyte survival at various developmental stages. This function is subverted in numerous diseases and can lead, for example, to survival of self-reactive lymphocytes or tumour cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Humans
  • Lymphopoiesis / immunology*
  • NF-kappa B / deficiency
  • NF-kappa B / genetics
  • NF-kappa B / immunology*
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell / immunology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology
  • Signal Transduction / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • NF-kappa B
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell