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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A role for CD40-CD40 ligand interactions in the generation of type 1 cytokine responses in human leprosy.

The interaction of CD40 ligand (CD40L) expressed by activated T cells with CD40 on macrophages has been shown to be a potent stimulus for the production of IL-12, an obligate signal for generation of Th1 cytokine responses. The expression and interaction of CD40 and CD40L were investigated in human infectious disease using leprosy as a model. CD40 and CD40L mRNA and surface protein expression were predominant in skin lesions of resistant tuberculoid patients compared with the highly susceptible lepromatous group. IL-12 release from PBMC of tuberculoid patients stimulated with Mycobacterium leprae was partially inhibited by mAbs to CD40 or CD40L, correlating with Ag-induced up-regulation of CD40L on T cells. Cognate recognition of M. leprae Ag by a T cell clone derived from a tuberculoid lesion in the context of monocyte APC resulted in CD40L- CD40-dependent production of IL-12. In contrast, M. leprae-induced IL-12 production by PBMC from lepromatous patients was not dependent on CD40L- CD40 ligation, nor was CD40L up-regulated by M. leprae. Furthermore, IL-10, a cytokine predominant in lepromatous lesions, blocked the IFN-gamma up-regulation of CD40 on monocytes. These data suggest that T cell activation in situ by M. leprae in tuberculoid leprosy leads to local up-regulation of CD40L, which stimulates CD40-dependent induction of IL-12 in monocytes. The CD40-CD40L interaction, which is not evident in lepromatous leprosy, probably participates in the cell-mediated immune response to microbial pathogens.[1]


  1. A role for CD40-CD40 ligand interactions in the generation of type 1 cytokine responses in human leprosy. Yamauchi, P.S., Bleharski, J.R., Uyemura, K., Kim, J., Sieling, P.A., Miller, A., Brightbill, H., Schlienger, K., Rea, T.H., Modlin, R.L. J. Immunol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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