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J Biomed Sci. 2004 Jul-Aug;11(4):426-38.

The role of CD40-CD154 interaction in cell immunoregulation.

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  • 1Department of Biophysics, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, PR China.


CD40, a member of the nerve growth factor/tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, and its ligand, CD154, play essential roles in cell immune responses. The results of many studies have indicated that CD40-CD154 interaction can upregulate costimulatory molecules, activate antigen-presenting cells (APCs), influence T-cell priming and T-cell-mediated effector functions as well as participate in the pathogenic processing of chronic inflammatory diseases, such as autoimmune diabetes, graft rejection, atherosclerosis, and cancer. Ligation of CD40 on cancer cells was also found to produce a direct growth-inhibitory effect through cell cycle blockage and/or apoptosis with no overt side effects on normal cells and treatment with CD154 can heighten tumor rejection immune response as well. However, systemic treatment with CD154 has some potential risks. Therefore, searching for efficient and safe strategies of CD154-based cancer therapy has been a hot topic in human cancer research. This review focuses on the latest discovered functions of CD40-CD154 interaction in cell immune responses and on the new findings of CD154-based human cancer therapy.

Copyright 2004 National Science Council, ROC and S. Karger AG, Basel

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