, Volume 1, Issue 5, pp 445-450

The hyper IgM syndrome

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The hyper IgM syndrome is a rare, inherited immune deficiency disorder resulting from defects in the CD40 ligand/ CD40-signaling pathway. X-linked hyper IgM is caused by defects in the CD40 ligand gene, while autosomal recessive hyper IgM is caused by defects in the CD40-activated RNAediting enzyme, activation-induced cytidine deaminase, which is required for immunoglobulin isotye switching and somatic hypermutation in B cells. The loss of interaction between CD40 and its ligand in X-linked hyper IgM results in an impairment of T cell function, of B cell differentiation, and of monocyte function, while only B cell differentiation appears to be affected in autosomal recessive hyper IgM. With genetic defects in the hyper IgM syndrome identified, it is possible to diagnose patients definitely, to perform genetic screening, and to delineate the clinical manifestations of this syndrome. Further research may lead to novel and definitive therapeutic options for patients with hyper IgM syndrome.