Immunobiology of β2 -Microglobulin-Deficient Mice
The ability to disrupt the function of a given protein molecule is a powerful technique. This approach has been extremely useful in modern biology. Monoclonal antibodies have been used to disrupt molecular function in vitro and in vivo. In addition, synthetic antisense oligonucleotides have been useful in disrupting the function of genes at the pretranslational level. In vitro depletion of particular cell types by treatment with monoclonal antibodies and complement has played a major role in elucidating the activities of cells expressing the appropriate target molecules. Combinations of these approaches led to the definition of lymphocyte subsets and their unequivocal characterization in vivo and in vitro. However, definition of the precise functions of these molecules has been much more difficult to attain. In prokaryotes and lower eukaryotes, the ability to produce null mutations has been important in defining the function of numerous gene products, ultimately allowing the determination of the function of each gene in the intact organism. Until recently, it has proved extremely difficult to obtain null mutants in mammals. Although there are examples of spontaneous null mutants in vivo and, in principle, such mutants can be readily selected in vitro, relatively little information has been derived from these.
KeywordsNatural Killer Natural Killer Activity Thymic Selection LCMV Infection Pretranslational Level
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