The gene p8 was initially described in pancreatic tissue during acute experimental pancreatitis, a disease that is characterized by a systemic immune response. Although early reports suggested that p8 affects leukocyte migration during acute pancreatitis (AP), no studies revealing its immune-modulatory effects have been performed.Methods
We investigated the composition of the cellular immune system in naive p8 knockout (p8−/−) mice and compared with matched wild-type mice during pancreatitis.Results
In young mice, there were no relevant differences in the composition of peripheral and splenic CD3+, CD3+CD4+, CD3+CD8+, CD11b+Gr-1−, and Gr-1+ cells. In mature p8−/− mice, increased splenic CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ cells, spleen siderosis, and increased marginal zones in the splenic white pulp were found. During AP, peripheral and splenic CD3+ and CD3+CD4+ declined stronger in the p8−/− mice. The spleen of the p8−/− mice showed severe hypoplasia of the white pulp and mild hyperplasia of the red pulp. This was associated with a significantly increased rate of apoptosis.Conclusions
We conclude that p8 has no impact on the cellular composition of the adaptive and innate immune systems in noninflammatory conditions. However, it may limit apoptosis and maintain homeostasis of the immune reaction during AP.