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Clin Immunol. 2011 May;139(2):215-27. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2011.02.005. Epub 2011 Mar 17.

Abrogation of pathogenic IgG autoantibody production in CD40L gene-deleted lupus-prone New Zealand Black mice.

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Arthritis Centre of Excellence, Toronto Western Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


New Zealand Black (NZB) mice spontaneously develop a lupus-like autoimmune disease. Since CD40-CD40L interactions are important for B cell class-switch recombination and germinal center formation, we sought to understand the impact of these interactions on the immune abnormalities in NZB CD40L gene-deleted (CD40L(-/-)) mice in vivo. NZB.CD40L(-/-) mice demonstrated abrogation of all IgG autoantibodies tested and attenuated kidney disease. However, polyclonal B cell activation in vivo and B cell proliferation and class-switching in response to TLR ligands in vitro were preserved in the absence of CD40L in NZB mice. Although, plasmacytoid dendritic cell expansion and elevated BAFF production were unaffected by the absence of CD40L, there was some evidence that IFN-α-induced gene expression was reduced in the bone marrow of NZB.CD40L(-/-) mice. Our results suggest that CD40-CD40L interactions play an important role in promoting pathogenic IgG autoantibody production and kidney disease in NZB mice.

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