Animals lacking Src homology 2 domain-containing inositol 5-phosphatase (SHIP) display a reduction in lymphopoiesis and a corresponding enhancement of myelopoiesis. These effects are mediated at least in part by elevated levels of interleukin 6 (IL-6). Here, we show the lymphopoiesis block in SHIP -/- mice is due to suppression of the lymphoid lineage choice by uncommitted progenitors. The suppression can be reproduced in vitro with recombinant IL-6, and IL-6 acts directly on hematopoietic progenitors. The block is partially overcome in SHIP-/- IL-6-/- double-deficient animals. IL-6 does not suppress but actually enhances proliferation of lymphoid-committed progenitors, indicating the IL-6 target cells are hematopoietic stem cells or multipotent progenitors. The findings suggest a mechanism for the lymphopenia that accompanies proinflammatory diseases.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology