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Immunol Rev. 2005 Feb;203:48-66.

Hyper immunoglobulin M syndrome due to CD40 deficiency: clinical, molecular, and immunological features.

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Department of Pediatrics, Istituto di Medicina Molecolare A. Nocivelli, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.


CD40 is a member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor family, which is expressed by a variety of cells including B cells, macrophages, dendritic cells, and other nonimmune cell types. CD40 activation is critical for B-cell proliferation, immunoglobulin (Ig)-isotype switching, and germinal center formation. In physiological conditions, the activation of CD40 occurs by binding to its natural ligand, CD154, which is expressed on activated T cells. The in vivo critical role of CD40-CD154 interaction on B-cell differentiation and isotype switching is provided by the discovery that mutations in either CD40 or CD154 gene cause the hyper IgM syndrome, termed HIGM3 or HIGM1, respectively, characterized by very low levels of serum IgG, IgA, and IgE, with normal or elevated IgM, associated with a defective germinal center formation. Originally considered humoral primary immunodeficiencies, the clinical features and the defect of T-cell priming, resulting from a defective T-B cell or dendritic cell interaction, is now considered as combined immunodeficiencies. In this article, we present a comprehensive overview of the clinical, genetic, and immunological features of patients with hyper IgM syndrome due to CD40 mutations.

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