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Annu Rev Immunol. 1996;14:591-617.

Immune regulation by CD40 and its ligand GP39.

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Department of Microbiology, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, New Hampshire 03756, USA.


Over the past three years, CD40 and its ligand (gp39, CD40L, TBAM) have been shown to be essential for humoral immune responses to thymus-dependent antigens. However, as the tissue distribution widens for those cells that express CD40 and gp39, we can now show that this ligand-receptor pair also plays an important role in the selection of self-reactive T cells in the thymus (central tolerance) and the regulation of tolerance in mature T cells (peripheral tolerance). Advances in our understanding of the molecular basis for CD40 biology is based in two areas of research. First, a major breakthrough in our understanding of how CD40 transduces biological events centers on the identification of a novel protein that binds to the cytoplasmic tail of CD40 and may act as a signal transducing molecule. Secondly, advances in molecular modeling and mutagenesis of this ligand-receptor pair have helped to identify the critical receptor/ligand contacts in the gp39/CD40 complex. Advances in each of these areas are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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