Immunologic Research

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 59–70 | Cite as

The Cd40 ligand

The center of the immune universe?
  • Iqbal S. Grewal
  • Richard A. Flavell


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.

Key words

CD40L T-cell activation T-cell priming T-cell effector functions Autoimmunity Parasitic infections 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iqbal S. Grewal
    • 1
  • Richard A. Flavell
    • 1
  1. 1.Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Section of ImmunobiologyYale University School of MedicineNew Haven

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