Analysis of expression and function of CD40 on normal and leukemic human B cell precursors

C. L. Law, B. Wormann, T. W. LeBien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


CD40 was originally identified on circulating and tonsillar human B cells, and anti-CD40 monoclonal antibodies (MoAb) are known to deliver a progression signal to activated B cells. However, the expression and function of CD40 on human B cell precursors (BCP) have not been examined in detail. Two new anti-CD40 MoAb were produced and shown to recognize an epitope indistinguishable from the anti-CD40 antibody G28-5. CD40 was readily detected on normal and leukemic BCP by flow cytometry, and cell surface expression was upregulated by phorbol ester. Despite the ability of normal and leukemic BCP to respond to phorbol ester (PMA) and/or low molecular weight B cell growth factor (L-BCGF), anti-CD40 exerted no stimulatory action and could not enhance the response of these cells to PMA, L-BCGF, or both. Cross-linking anti-CD40 MoAb with rabbit anti-mouse Ig also failed to induce a proliferative response in normal BCP. We conclude that anti-CD40 does not exert demonstrable agonistic effects on normal and leukemic human BCP. Our results suggest that signal delivery through CD40 and/or subsequent intracellular signal processing may require accessory molecules not expressed in BCP, or CD40 may subserve a different function for BCP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)732-738
Number of pages7
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1990


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