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Mol Immunol. 2008 Feb;45(4):937-44. Epub 2007 Oct 24.

Platelet pro-aggregatory effects of CD40L monoclonal antibody.

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  • 1Servei de Cardiologia, Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron, Pg. Vall d'Hebron 119-129, 08035 Barcelona, Spain.

Erratum in

  • Mol Immunol. 2008 May;45(9):2721.


An unexpected high incidence of thromboembolic complications has been described in patients with systemic autoimmune diseases treated with CD40L immunotherapy. Since activated platelets express CD40L, we aimed to investigate the effects of CD40L mAb in platelet aggregation induced by physiological stimuli. Optical aggregometry was performed on platelet-rich plasma and washed platelets obtained from systemic venous blood (0.38% citrate) of anesthetized pigs. CD40L mAb clone 5c8, used in clinical trials for autoimmune diseases, was used. In platelet-rich plasma, CD40L mAb neither induced platelet aggregation per se, nor significantly affected maximal aggregation or slope of ADP-induced aggregation curves. However, it dose-dependently inhibited spontaneous deaggregation observed in ADP-stimulated samples. This effect was not observed with an irrelevant isotype-matched immunoglobulin. The stabilizing effect on platelet aggregates was neither glycoprotein IIb/IIIa-mediated nor Ca2+-dependent but was abolished by acetylsalicylic acid pretreatment. F(ab')2 fragments did not stabilize ADP-induced platelet aggregates but inhibited the stabilizing effect of CD40L mAb. Similar results were obtained with washed platelets, although higher amplification of ADP-induced aggregation was observed. In conclusion, CD40L expression produced by physiological or pathophysiological platelet activation can sustain a pro-aggregatory effect of CD40L mAb by a mechanism involving mAb Fc domain. These results could help to explain the mechanism of CD40L mAb-induced thromboembolic complications.

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