Critical roles for the Bcl-3 oncoprotein in T cell-mediated immunity, splenic microarchitecture, and germinal center reactions

Immunity. 1997 Apr;6(4):479-90. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(00)80291-5.


Chromosomal translocations of bcl-3 are associated with chronic B cell lymphocytic leukemias. Previously, we have shown that Bcl-3, a distinct member of the I kappa B family, may function as a positive regulator of NF-kappa B activity, although its physiologic roles remained unknown. To uncover these roles, we generated Bcl-3-deficient mice. Mutant mice, but not their littermate controls, succumb to T. gondii owing to failure to mount a protective T helper 1 immune response. Bcl-3-deficient mice are also impaired in germinal center reactions and T-dependent antibody responses to influenza virus. The results reveal critical roles for Bcl-3 in antigen-specific priming of T and B cells. Altered microarchitecture of secondary lymphoid organs in mutant mice, including partial loss of B cells, may underlie the immunologic defects. The implied role of Bcl-3 in maintaining B cells in wild-type mice may related to its oncogenic potential.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / biosynthesis
  • B-Cell Lymphoma 3 Protein
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Cell Line
  • Embryo, Mammalian
  • Germinal Center / cytology
  • Germinal Center / immunology*
  • Immunity, Cellular / genetics
  • Influenza A virus / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology*
  • Proto-Oncogenes / immunology
  • Spleen / cytology*
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Stem Cells
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Toxoplasmosis / genetics
  • Toxoplasmosis / immunology
  • Transcription Factors


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • B-Cell Lymphoma 3 Protein
  • Bcl3 protein, mouse
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Transcription Factors