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Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2001 Sep;13(5):361-9.

Regulation of CD40 ligand expression in systemic lupus erythematosus.

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Department of Medicine, Hospital for Special Surgery and Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York City, New York, USA.


Production of pathogenic autoantibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) requires T cell help, along with ligation of the B cell surface immunoglobulin receptor by antigen. It is likely that macrophages, dendritic cells, and endothelial cells are also activated by interactions with T cells and contribute to lupus pathology. CD40 ligand (CD40L, CD154), a member of the tumor necrosis factor family of cell surface molecules, mediates these contact dependent signals delivered by CD4 + T helper cells to CD40 + target cells. Recent data from SLE patients and murine lupus models have demonstrated prolonged expression of CD40L on lupus T cells and its capacity to mediate excessive B cell activation. This review summarizes the current information regarding transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of CD40L expression in normal and SLE T cells. More complete characterization of the mechanisms that regulate the magnitude and duration of CD40L expression should suggest new approaches to modulate this promising therapeutic target.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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