Agonistic αCD40 Ab’s have been shown to be potent immune adjuvants for both cell- and humoral-mediated immunity. While enhancing short-lived humoral immunity, the administration of a CD40 agonist during thymus-dependent immune responses ablates germinal center formation, prematurely terminates the humoral immune response, blocks the generation of B cell memory, and prevents the generation of long-lived bone marrow plasma cells. Interestingly, some of these effects of heightened CD40 engagement could be mimicked by enhancing the magnitude of antigen-specific T cell help. Taken together, these studies demonstrate that as the magnitude of CD40 signaling intensifies, the fate of antigen-reactive B cells can be dramatically altered. These are the first studies to describe the multifaceted function of CD40 in determining the fate of antigen-reactive B cells and provide novel insights into how CD40 agonists can short-circuit humoral immunity.
Loren D. Erickson, Brigit G. Durell, Laura A. Vogel, Brian P. O’Connor, Marilia Cascalho, Teruhito Yasui, Hitoshi Kikutani, Randolph J. Noelle