Sustained activation of Lyn tyrosine kinase in vivo leads to autoimmunity

Margaret L. Hibbs, Kenneth W. Harder, Jane Armes, Nicole Kountouri, Cathy Quilici, Franca Casagranda, Ashley R. Dunn, David M. Tarlinton

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142 Citations (Scopus)


Genetic ablation of the Lyn tyrosine kinase has revealed unique inhibitory roles in B lymphocyte signaling. We now report the consequences of sustained activation of Lyn in vivo using a targeted gain-of-function mutation (Lyn up/up mice). Lyn up/up have reduced numbers of conventional B lymphocytes, down-regulated surface immunoglobulin M and costimulatory molecules, and elevated numbers ofBla B cells. Lyn up/up B cells are characterized by the constitutive phosphorylation of negative regulators of B cell antigen receptor (BCR) signaling including CD22, SHP-1, and SHIP-1, and display attributes of lymphocytes rendered tolerant by constitutive engagement of the antigen receptor. However, exaggerated positive signaling is also apparent as evidenced by the constitutive phosphorylation of Syk and phospholipase Cγ in resting Lyn up/up B cells. Similarly, Lyn up/up B cells show a heightened calcium flux in response to BCR stimulation. Surprisingly, Lyn up/up mice develop circulating autoreactive antibodies and lethal autoimmune glomerulonephritis, suggesting that enhanced positive signaling eventually overrides constitutive negative signaling. These studies highlight the difficulty in maintaining tolerance in the face of chronic stimulation and emphasize the pivotal role of Lyn in B cell signaling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1593-1604
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2002


  • Autoimmune disease
  • B cell signal transduction
  • B cell tolerance
  • Lyn gain-of-function mutant mice
  • Src family kinase

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