About two weeks ago, we reported on the first retraction of a paper co-authored by Silvia Bulfone-Paus, whose work at her Research Center Borstel lab is being investigated for misconduct. On Friday, Borstel announced that journals had accepted four more retractions of papers by Bulfone-Paus’s group.
Three of those papers are in the Journal of Immunology (citations according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge):
- The IL-15 receptor alpha chain signals through association with Syk in human B cells (2001, cited 58 times)
- Murine mast cells.express novel functional IL-15Rα isoforms (2003, cited 32 times)
- Extracellular ATP induces cytokine expression and apoptosis through P2X7 receptor in murine mast cells (2005, cited 46 times)
The other, “A promiscuous liaison between the IL-15 receptor and the Axl receptor tyrosine kinase in cell death control,” was published in 2005 in the the EMBO Journal and has been cited 37 times. The EMBO Journal confirmed that the retraction will appear in an upcoming issue, but said the date and text of the retraction are under embargo.
We tried to reach editors of the Journal of Immunology and will update if we hear back.
Borstel said last month that it had asked for a total of 12 retractions. According to a release (translated from German):
In six papers, an external commission (see December 2 announcement) found manipulations during a formal investigation. For another four, manipulations were admitted. Further, two publications were asked to be retracted prospectively.