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Immunol Cell Biol. 2003 Aug;81(4):328-31.

Why do B cells produce CD40 ligand?

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Queensland Institute of Medical Research, The Bancroft Centre, Herston Road, Brisbane 4006, Australia.


The CD40-CD40 ligand (CD40L) interaction is one of the most important receptor-ligand interactions that occurs during a T dependent immune response. However, while CD40L is expressed on a range of cell types including activated T cells and B cells, dendritic cells granulocytes, macrophages and platelets, only CD40L on T cells is considered by most immunologists when planning experiments or analysing data. The current theory professes that T cells expressing CD40L can provide signals to B cells that induce proliferation, immunoglobulin class switching, antibody secretion, rescue from apoptosis at different times during the life of a B cell and also has a role in the development of germinal centres and the survival of memory B cells. However, the whole story is more complex than presently understood as human and mouse B cells express CD40L on their surface following activation and can release a soluble form of the ligand. This paper hypothesizes how CD40L on B cells may regulate antibody responses and the development of germinal centres.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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