Tumor regression by anti-CD40 and interleukin-2: Role of CD40 in hematopoietic cells and organ-specific effects

Lisbeth A. Welniak, Lynnette Shorts, Jeff Subleski, Bruce R. Blazar, Robert H. Wiltrout, William J. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


CD40 stimulation can synergize with interleukin (IL)-2 for antitumor responses against mouse metastatic renal cell carcinomas, with coincident increases in tumor-specific CD8+ T-cell responses and dendritic cell numbers in both the spleen and liver. Because CD40 is present on various hematopoietic-derived cells, endothelial cells, and some tumors themselves, this study was performed to determine whether the antitumor effects of CD40 stimulation and IL-2 were primarily mediated by CD40+ hematopoietic-derived cells. Bone marrow chimeras were created by reconstituting lethally irradiated CD40+/+ recipients with bone marrow from CD40-/- or CD40+/+ mice. Chimeric mice were then implanted orthotopically with renal cancer cells, followed by treatment with anti-CD40 agonist monoclonal antibodies and IL-2. Immune parameters of the spleen and liver were assessed after therapy and correlated with antitumor responses. The antitumor effects in the CD40-/- bone marrow transplantation chimeras were almost completely abrogated after treatment, and this shows that hematopoietically derived CD40+ cells are the principal targets for CD40 stimulation in this model. Although both spleen and liver showed reductions in CD8+ T-cell and dendritic cell expansion in the CD40-/- versus CD40+/+ chimeras after therapy, only the liver exhibited no significant increases in either CD8+ T cells or dendritic cells after treatment. CD40 cells on hematopoietic cells are the primary target for anti-CD40 and IL-2 therapy. The results also suggest that the immunologic events in the liver may be more revealing that those in lymphoid organs with regard to critical events related to responses after therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)534-539
Number of pages6
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge the superb technical assistance provided by Timothy Back and Steven Stull and the secretarial assistance provided by Nicole Maddox. This work was supported by grant no. RO1 CA95572-01 and by Federal funds from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, under contract no. N01-CO-12400. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Health and Health Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the US government.


  • Bone marrow chimera
  • CD8 T cell
  • Dendritic cell


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