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#1379186   1992/09/01 Save this To Up

Identification of a source of biologically active CD40 ligand.

We have identified the murine thymoma line EL4 as a source of biologically active CD40 ligand. Using a biotin-labeled soluble CD40.Fc fusion protein, consisting of the extracellular domain of human CD40 and the Fc region of human IgG1, EL4 cells were subjected to repeated flow cytometric cell sorting to select for cells with enhanced biotinylated CD40.Fc binding. After nine rounds of sorting, the number of CD40.Fc binding sites/cell had risen from 450 on the unsorted parental EL4 cells to 15,000 on EL40.9 cells (EL4 cells sorted with biotinylated CD40.Fc for nine rounds). Scatchard analysis of radiolabeled CD40.Fc binding revealed that the surface-expressed CD40 ligand on parental EL4 and EL40.9 cells bound its receptor with a single class of high-affinity sites (Kd = 0.5 nM). Supernatant (SN) from the sorted EL40.9 cells was found to contain human and murine B cell stimulatory activity which could be removed by preclearing with immobilized CD40.Fc, confirming the presence of soluble CD40 ligand in the preparations. EL40.9 supernatant enhanced soluble CD23 (sCD23) release and induced IgE secretion from interleukin 4-stimulated human B cells. In addition, EL40.9 SN contained proliferative activity for anti-IgM-activated murine B cells which could be removed by treatment with immobilized CD40.Fc. However, the same SN had no demonstrable activity on the proliferation of human B cells. The results presented here describe, for the first time, a source of membrane-bound and soluble CD40 ligand. The soluble form of this murine ligand has activity on murine and human B cells and induces some of the functional responses predicted for the ligand based on the action of stimulatory antibodies directed against the human CD40 surface molecule.

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