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J Immunol. 2007 Jan 15;178(2):671-82.

A costimulatory function for T cell CD40.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


CD40 plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of inflammation and autoimmunity. B cell CD40 directly activates cells, which can result in autoantibody production. T cells can also express CD40, with an increased frequency and amount of expression seen in CD4(+) T lymphocytes of autoimmune mice, including T cells from mice with collagen-induced arthritis. However, the mechanisms of T cell CD40 function have not been clearly defined. To test the hypothesis that CD40 can serve as a costimulatory molecule on T lymphocytes, CD40(+) T cells from collagen-induced arthritis mice were examined in parallel with mouse and human T cell lines transfected with CD40. CD40 served as effectively as CD28 in costimulating TCR-mediated activation, including induction of kinase and transcription factor activities and production of cytokines. An additional enhancement was seen when both CD40 and CD28 signals were combined with AgR stimulation. These findings reveal potent biologic functions for T cell CD40 and suggest an additional means for amplification of autoimmune responses.

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