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NF-κB essential modulator (NEMO) deficiency causes ectodermal dysplasia with immunodeficiency in males, while manifesting as incontinentia pigmenti in heterozygous females. We report a family with NEMO deficiency, in which a female carrier displayed skewed X-inactivation favoring the mutant NEMO allele associated with symptoms of Behçet's disease. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation of an affected boy from this donor reconstituted an immune system with retained skewed X-inactivation. After transplantation no more severe infections occurred, indicating that an active wild-type NEMO allele in only 10% of immune cells restores host defense. Yet he developed inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). While gut infiltrating immune cells stained strongly for nuclear p65 indicating restored NEMO function, this was not the case in intestinal epithelial cells - in contrast to cells from conventional IBD patients. These results extend murine observations that epithelial NEMO-deficiency suffices to cause IBD. High anti-TNF doses controlled the intestinal inflammation and symptoms of Behçet's disease.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin Immunol

Publication Date





52 - 56


Anti-TNF treatment, Behçet's disease, HSCT, IBD, IKBKG, NEMO deficiency, Skewed X-inactivation, Alleles, Behcet Syndrome, Female, Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, Humans, I-kappa B Kinase, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Male, Siblings