CD40 antibody evokes a cytotoxic T-cell response that eradicates lymphoma and bypasses T-cell help

Nat Med. 1999 May;5(5):548-53. doi: 10.1038/8426.


CD40 is essential in enabling antigen-presenting cells to process and present antigen effectively to T cells. We demonstrate here that when antibody against CD40 is used to treat mice with syngeneic lymphoma, a rapid cytotoxic T-cell response independent of T-helper cells occurs, with tenfold expansion of CD8+ T cells over a period of 5 days. This response eradicates the lymphoma and provides protection against tumor rechallenge without further antibody treatment. Thus, it seems that by treating mice with monoclonal antibody against CD40, we are immunizing against syngeneic tumors. The phenomenon proved reproducible with two antibodies against CD40 (3/23 and FGK-45) in three CD40+ lymphomas (A20, A31 and BCL1) and gave partial protection in one of two CD40- lymphomas (EL4 and Ten1). Although the nature of the target antigens on these lymphomas is unknown, CD8+ T cells recovered from responding mice showed powerful cytotoxic activity against the target B-cell lymphoma in vitro.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD40 Antigens / immunology*
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Immunotherapy
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / mortality
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / therapy*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, SCID
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • CD40 Antigens