Requirement for CD40 Ligand in Costimulation Induction, T Cell Activation, and Experimental Allergic Encephalomyelitis

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Science  27 Sep 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5283, pp. 1864-1867
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5283.1864


The mechanism of CD40 ligand (CD40L)-mediated in vivo activation of CD4+ T cells was examined by investigation of the development of experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) in CD40L-deficient mice that carried a transgenic T cell receptor specific for myelin basic protein. These mice failed to develop EAE after priming with antigen, and CD4+ T cells remained quiescent and produced no interferon-γ (IFN-γ). T cells were primed to make IFN-γ and induce EAE by providing these mice with B7.1+ antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Thus, CD40L is required to induce costimulatory activity on APCs for in vivo activation of CD4+ T cells to produce IFN-γ and to evoke autoimmunity.