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J Biol Chem. 2007 Jun 22;282(25):18307-17. Epub 2007 Apr 25.

CD40-40L signaling in vascular inflammation.

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  • 1Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute and Evans Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, USA.


Ligation of CD40 in circulating cells or in the vessel wall may promote mononuclear cell recruitment, participate in the weakening of the plaque, and contribute to thrombosis. This process appears to be redox-sensitive, but the precise signaling mechanism by which the interaction between CD40L and its receptor CD40 mediates inflammatory secretion is unclear. Our previous studies have shown that the CD40-CD40L interaction modulates release of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the current findings demonstrate that in endothelial cells CD40L dose dependently induces intracellular CD40L and MCP1 release in a redox sensitive manner. Pharmacological inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and p38 MAPK as well as adenovirus-mediated inactivation of Akt and p38 MAPK inhibited CD40L effects on endothelial cells. Akt, in particular, appeared to mediate CD40L-induced CD40L synthesis and MCP1 release by endothelial cells in a redox sensitive manner via NFkappaB activation. In addition, using confocal microscopy, exogenous addition of recombinant CD40L or adenoviral mediated CD40L overexpression was found to stimulate nuclear translocation of NFkappaB, which was further augmented by Akt overexpression and inhibited by Akt inactivation. These data support a mechanism whereby redox-sensitive CD40-CD40L interactions induce activation of Akt and p38 MAPK, leading to stimulation of NFkappaB and enhanced synthesis of CD40L and MCP1. Increased CD40L and MCP1 may contribute to the adherence of CD40-positive cells, such as platelets and monocytes, to the vessel wall modulating atherothrombosis.

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