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NFκB1 is essential to prevent the development of multiorgan autoimmunity by limiting IL-6 production in follicular B cells


de Valle, E and Grigoriadis, G and O'Reilly, LA and Willis, SN and Maxwell, MJ and Corcoran, LM and Tsantikos, E and Cornish, JK and Fairfax, KA and Vasanthakumar, A and Febbraio, MA and Hibbs, ML and Pellegrini, M and Banerjee, A and Hodgkin, PD and Kallies, A and Mackay, F and Strasser, A and Gerondakis, S and Gugasyan, R, NFκB1 is essential to prevent the development of multiorgan autoimmunity by limiting IL-6 production in follicular B cells, The Journal of Experimental Medicine, 213, (4) pp. 621-641. ISSN 0022-1007 (2016) [Refereed Article]

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© 2016 de Valle et al. This article is distributed under the terms of an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike–No Mirror Sites license for the first six months after the publication date (see After six months it is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution–Noncommercial– Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, as described at

DOI: doi:10.1084/jem.20151182


We examined the role of NFκB1 in the homeostasis and function of peripheral follicular (Fo) B cells. Aging mice lacking NFκB1 (Nfκb1(-/-) develop lymphoproliferative and multiorgan autoimmune disease attributed in large part to the deregulated activity of Nfκb1(-/-) Fo B cells that produce excessive levels of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin 6 (IL-6). Despite enhanced germinal center (GC) B cell differentiation, the formation of GC structures was severely disrupted in the Nfκb1(-/-) mice. Bone marrow chimeric mice revealed that the Fo B cell-intrinsic loss of NFκB1 led to the spontaneous generation of GC B cells. This was primarily the result of an increase in IL-6 levels, which promotes the differentiation of Fo helper CD4(+)T cells and acts in an autocrine manner to reduce antigen receptor and toll-like receptor activation thresholds in a population of proliferating IgM(+)Nfκb1(-/-) Fo B cells. We demonstrate that p50-NFκB1 represses Il-6 transcription in Fo B cells, with the loss of NFκB1 also resulting in the uncontrolled RELA-driven transcription of Il-6. Collectively, our findings identify a previously unrecognized role for NFκB1 in preventing multiorgan autoimmunity through its negative regulation of Il-6 gene expression in Fo B cells.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Biochemistry and cell biology
Research Field:Cell development, proliferation and death
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Fairfax, KA (Dr Kirsten Fairfax)
ID Code:134797
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:27
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2019-09-05
Last Modified:2022-08-25
Downloads:26 View Download Statistics

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