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Semin Immunol. 1993 Dec;5(6):401-12.

CD40L: a multi-functional ligand.

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Department of Cellular Immunology, Immunex Research and Development Corporation, Seattle, WA 98101.


B cells can be stimulated to proliferate and differentiate in response to cell-contact dependent signals provided by activated, but not resting, T cells. In the human system, antibodies specific for the surface antigen CD40 induce similar B cell responses. The cloning of a ligand for CD40, and the generation of reagents which can block the interaction of this ligand with its receptor, have demonstrated that the major component of the contact-dependent signal leading to B cell activation is CD40 ligand. Studies of individuals lacking functional CD40 ligand have indicated that signaling through CD40 is essential for immunoglobulin (Ig) heavy chain switching and the production of all isotypes other than IgM. In addition to its activities on B cells, CD40 ligand is stimulatory for cells of monocyte and T lineages suggesting a pleiotropic role for CD40 ligand in vivo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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