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Mol Immunol. 2010 Aug;47(14):2303-13. doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2010.05.288. Epub 2010 Jun 19.

CD40 glycoforms and TNF-receptors 1 and 2 in the formation of CD40 receptor(s) in autoimmunity.

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  • 1Department of Medicine and Webb-Waring Center, University of Colorado Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.


The CD40-CD154 dyad is an intensely studied field as is glycosylation status and both impact immunological functions and autoimmune conditions. CD40 has several isoforms, is modified by glycosylation, and trimerizes to form the functional receptor. We described a CD4(+)CD40(+) T cell (Th40) subset which is expanded in autoimmunity and is necessary and sufficient in transferring type 1 diabetes. Glycosylation impacts immunological events and T cells from autoimmune mouse strains express 30-40% less GlcNAc-branched N-glycans than T cells from non-autoimmune strains, a decrease known to activate T cells. Here we demonstrate that several CD40 receptor constellations exist on CD4 T cells. However, rather than containing different isoforms of CD40 they contain different glycoforms of isoform I. The glycoform profile is dependent on availability of CD154 and autoimmune NOD mice express a high level of a less glycosylated form. Interestingly, CD40 stimulation induces some CD40 receptor constellations that contain TNF-receptors 1 and 2 and targeting of those alters CD40 signaling outcomes in NOD Th40 cells. CD40-stimulation in vivo of non-autoimmune BALB/c mice expands the Th40 population and alters the CD40 glycoform profile of those cells to appear more like that of autoimmune prone NOD mice. Further understanding the dynamics and composition of the different CD40 receptor constellations will provide important insights into treatment options in autoimmunity.

(c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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