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J Immunol. 2002 Jan 15;168(2):537-40.

Cutting edge: Th2 response induction by dendritic cells: a role for CD40.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


We investigated the influence of dendritic cell (DC) CD40 expression on Th2 and Th1 development by in vivo transfer of Ag-pulsed bone marrow-derived DC generated from wild-type (WT) or CD40(-/-) mice. Contrary to expectation, CD40(-/-) DC primed with Ag that inherently induce a Th2 response (soluble egg Ag from Schistosoma mansoni) failed to induce a Th2 response or any compensatory Th1 response, whereas CD40(-/-)DC primed with Ag that inherently induce a Th1 response (Propionibacterium acnes) generated a competent Th1 response. Thus, DC expression of CD40 is a prerequisite for initiation of Th2, but not Th1, responses by these Ag. Consistent with this, CD154(-/-) mice, unlike WT mice, failed to mount a Th2 response when directly injected with schistosome eggs but mounted a normal Th1 response after challenge with P. acnes. CD40-CD154 interaction can therefore play a major role in Th2 response induction.

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