The role of IL-II in hematopoiesis as revealed by a targeted mutation of its receptor.

Harshal Hanumant Nandurkar, Lorraine G Robb, Colin Glenn Begley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Interleukin 11 (IL-11) is a pleiotropic growth factor with several actions in common with members of the IL-6 family. IL-11 utilizes a specific receptor chain encoded by two genes, IL-11Ra, which is expressed in hematopoietic and other tissues and, IL-11Ra2, which has a restricted pattern of expression. The actions of IL-11 in the hematopoietic compartment include support of multilineage and committed progenitors contributing to myeloid, erythroid, megakaryocyte, and lymphoid lineages. IL-11 demonstrates a prominent thrombopoietic activity which is being evaluated in clinical trials. In contrast to the multiple in vitro and in vivo effects of IL-11, mice with a targeted mutation of the IL-11Ra gene (IL-11Ra-/-) did not exhibit an overt hematological phenotype. Generation of a null phenotype was confirmed by independent assays. The numbers of progenitor cells of various lineages as well as their terminally differentiated progeny were undisturbed in the IL-11Ra-/- mice. In addition, the mutant mice were able to respond appropriately to increased demand in situations of hematopoietic stress. This study has highlighted the growth factor redundancy operative in the hematopoietic compartment, and in addition, has served to identify a critical action of IL-11 in nonhematopoietic organs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53 - 65
Number of pages13
JournalStem Cells
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

Cite this