Bruton tyrosine kinase (Btk) is essential for B cell development and function and also appears to be important for myeloid cells. The bone marrow of Btk-deficient mice shows enhanced granulopoiesis compared with that of wild-type mice. In purified granulocyte-monocyte-progenitors (GMP) from Btk-deficient mice, the development of granulocytes is favored at the expense of monocytes. However, Btk-deficient neutrophils are impaired in maturation and function. Using bone marrow chimeras, we show that this defect is cell-intrinsic to neutrophils. In GMP and neutrophils, Btk plays a role in GM-CSF- and Toll-like receptor-induced differentiation. Molecular analyses revealed that expression of the lineage-determining transcription factors C/EBPalpha, C/EBPbeta, and PU.1, depends on Btk. In addition, expression of several granule proteins, including myeloperoxidase, neutrophilic granule protein, gelatinase and neutrophil elastase, is Btk-dependent. In the Arthus reaction, an acute inflammatory response, neutrophil migration into tissues, edema formation, and hemorrhage are significantly reduced in Btk-deficient animals. Together, our findings implicate Btk as an important regulator of neutrophilic granulocyte maturation and function in vivo.
Type of Publication:
Journal article published