Faculty Research 1990 - 1999


Lymphadenopathy, elevated serum IgE levels, autoimmunity, and mast cell accumulation in flaky skin mutant mice.

Document Type


Publication Date



Animal, Autoimmunity, IgE: bl, im, Interleukin-4, Lymphatic-Diseases: ge, im, Mast-Cells: im, pa, Mice, Mice-Mutant-Strains, Skin-Abnormalities: bl, ge, im, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-P-H-S

JAX Source

Eur J Immunol 1998 Apr;28(4):1379-88


CA20408/CA/NCI, AR40324/AR/NIAMS, CA34196/CA/NCI


The autosomal recessive mutation flaky skin (fsn) causes pleiotropic abnormalities in the immune and hematopoietic systems accompanied by pathologic changes in the skin. Homozygotes (fsn/fsn) showed increased size and histological alterations in the spleen and lymph nodes. Abnormalities in lymphoid architecture of the spleen in fsn/fsn mice were accompanied by marked increases in total numbers of B cells, macrophages, and immature erythroid cells. Splenic B cells displayed elevated MHC class II expression. Serum IgE levels were greater than 100 microg/ml by 10 weeks of age, representing > 7000-fold increase compared with normal littermates. This increased IgE level was associated with elevated IL-4 production by spleen cells and with increased amounts of serum IL-4. Serum IgM, IgG1, and IgG2b levels were also increased in fsn/fsn mice while IgG3 was decreased. Autoimmunity in fsn/fsn mice was evidenced by glomerulonephritis accompanied by immune complex deposition in the kidneys, increased serum blood urea nitrogen levels, and the presence of circulating anti-double-stranded DNA autoantibodies. Pathological changes in the skin of fsn/fsn mice were characterized by epidermal hyperplasia and mixed dermal inflammation. Increased numbers of mast cells were also observed in the dermis of the truncal skin as well as in the epithelial stomach. These marked immunological abnormalities suggest that the fsn locus encodes a major immunoregulatory molecule important in multiple immune and hematopoietic functions.