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Leuk Lymphoma. 1996 Mar;21(1-2):1-8.

CD40 and the effect of anti-CD40-binding on human multiple myeloma clonogenicity.

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  • 1Cancer Immunology Research Laboratory, Baylor-Sammons Cancer Center, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75246, USA.


CD40 is a 48 kDa glycosylated phospoprotein that is a member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNF-R) superfamily. CD40 was originally identified in B lymphocytes, and is found on monocytes, dendritic cells, some carcinoma cell lines, and the thymic epithelium. CD40 is expressed on normal pre-B through mature B stages of differentiation. For normal B cells, the cross-linking of CD40 induces cell cycle progression, long-term proliferation in vitro, IgE secretion, increased adhesion molecule (LFA-1) expression, and low level IL-6 secretion. The natural ligand of CD40 (CD40L, gp39, or T-BAM, for T-B cell activating molecule) was recently identified as an inducible molecule expressed transitionally on activated T cells. Although originally believed to be absent in normal and malignant plasma cells, CD40 has been demonstrated on the majority of myeloma cell lines and myeloma cells from plasma cell dyscrasia (PCD) patient specimens tested. CD40 activation modulated myeloma cell proliferation and clonogenicity in vitro, suggesting that the CD40 pathway is active in myeloma cell growth. For the IL-6 dependent cell line ANBL-6, CD40 activation was associated with autocrine IL-6 production. However, the IL-6 pathway does not appear to play a predominant role in CD40 activation of non-IL-6-dependent MM cell lines and patient primary bone marrow cultures. The possible pathophysiologic role of the CD40 receptor in human multiple myeloma is discussed.

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