Neonatal lethality and lymphopenia in mice with a homozygous disruption of the c-abl proto-oncogene

Cell. 1991 Jun 28;65(7):1153-63. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(91)90011-m.


The c-abl proto-oncogene, which encodes a cytoplasmic protein-tyrosine kinase, is expressed throughout murine gestation and ubiquitously in adult mouse tissues. However, its levels are highest in thymus, spleen, and testes. To examine the in vivo role of c-abl, the gene was disrupted in embryonic stem cells, and the resulting genetically modified cells were used to establish a mouse strain carrying the mutation. Most mice homozygous for the c-abl mutation became runted and died 1 to 2 weeks after birth. In addition, many showed thymic and splenic atrophy and a T and B cell lymphopenia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Genes, Lethal*
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Hematopoiesis*
  • Heterozygote
  • Homozygote
  • Lymphopenia / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-abl / physiology*
  • Proto-Oncogenes
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Spleen / abnormalities
  • Thymus Gland / abnormalities


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-abl