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Cell Mol Immunol. 2006 Jun;3(3):163-9.

CD40/CD40L dyad in the inflammatory and immune responses in the central nervous system.

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School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai 201101, China.


CD40 and its cognate ligand (CD40L) are a pair of regulators of pro-inflammatory and immune responses. In the central nervous system (CNS), CD40 is expressed on a variety of cells, including vascular endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells, astrocytes and microglia (the brain macrophages, being the most sensitive cell type to respond to CD40 ligand). Interaction between CD40 on microglia and CD40L presented by infiltrating T lymphocytes and other resident CNS cells triggers a series of intracellular signaling events that promote the production of a wide array of cytokines, chemokines and neurotoxins. Thus, both molecules serve as amplifiers of pro-inflammatory and immune responses in the CNS and constitute important molecular targets for therapeutic intervention of diseases.

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