CD40 is a functional activation antigen and B7-independent T cell costimulatory molecule on normal human lung fibroblasts.
CD40 is an important signaling and activation Ag found on certain bone marrow-derived cells. Recently, CD40 also has been shown to be expressed by mesenchymal cells, including human fibroblasts. Little is known about the role of CD40 in fibroblasts. The current study investigates the hypothesis that CD40 expressed on lung fibroblasts is an activation structure and mechanism for interaction with hemopoietic cells. Communication between resident tissue fibroblasts and T cells is necessary for normal wound healing, and can be pathologic, resulting in tissue fibrosis. Signaling through CD40 with soluble CD40 ligand stimulated fibroblast activation, as evidenced by mobilization of nuclear factor-kappaB and by induction of the proinflammatory and chemoattractant cytokines IL-6 and IL-8. IFN-gamma-primed lung fibroblasts costimulate T lymphocyte proliferation utilizing CD40, but not the well-studied costimulatory molecules B7-1 and B7-2. Data reported herein support the hypothesis that cognate interactions between tissue fibroblasts and infiltrating T lymphocytes, via the CD40/CD40L pathway, augment inflammation and may promote fibrogenesis by activating both cell types.
Sempowski, GD; Chess, PR; Phipps, RP
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