Targeting the CD40-CD40L pathway in autoimmune diseases: Humoral immunity and beyond
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CD40 is a TNF receptor superfamily member expressed on both immune and non-immune cells. Interactions between B cell-expressed CD40 and its binding partner, CD40L, predominantly expressed on activated CD4+ T cells, play a critical role in promoting germinal center formation and the production of class-switched antibodies. Non-hematopoietic cells expressing CD40 can also engage CD40L and trigger a pro-inflammatory response. This article will highlight what is known about the biology of the CD40-CD40L axis in humans and describe the potential contribution of CD40 signaling on both hematopoietic and non-hematopoietic cells to autoimmune disease pathogenesis. Additionally, novel therapeutic approaches to target this pathway, currently being evaluated in clinical trials, are discussed.
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