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Immunol Res. 1997 Feb;16(1):59-70.

The CD40 ligand. At the center of the immune universe?

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Section of Immunobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.


For several years, the primary function of CD40 ligand (CD40L) has been believed to be in regulation of contact-dependent, CD40-CD40L-mediated signals between B- and T-cells, which are essential for the regulation of thymus-dependent (TD) humoral immune responses. Recently, a flurry of reports indicate that CD40 is expressed by variety of cell types other than B-cells that include dendritic cells, follicular dendritic cells, monocytes, macrophages, fibroblasts, and endothelial cells. These studies show that CD40-CD40L interactions are important in inflammatory process. For the past few years, through the availability of CD40L-knockout mice, new data have emerged to support the belief that CD40L has many more functions than its role in TD humoral immunity. CD40L-deficient mice have provided significant information towards our understanding of the in vivo role of CD40L. The current picture that emerges indicates that CD40-CD40L interactions mediate many cell-mediated immune responses and T-cell-mediated effector functions that are required for proper functioning of the host defense system. This article focuses on the in vivo role of the CD40L in regulation of cell-mediated effector functions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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