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FEBS Lett. 1997 Sep 8;414(2):444-8.

The CD40-ligand stimulates T-lymphocytes via the neutral sphingomyelinase: a novel function of the CD40-ligand as signalling molecule.

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Department of Physiology, University of Tuebingen, Germany.


Recent results suggest an activation of T-lymphocytes via the CD40L implying a dual function of this ligand involved in the activation of both B- and T-lymphocytes [1-4]. Here, we provide evidence that activation of T-lymphocytes via CD40L results in activation of a neutral but not an acidic sphingomyelinase correlating with a consumption of sphingomyelin and a release of ceramide. Activation of the neutral sphingomyelinase by the CD40L seems to involve a novel signalling cascade since it is independent of CD40L induced protein kinase activation or association of the neutral sphingomyelinase with the CD40L.

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