Increased T cell expression of CD154 (CD40-ligand) in multiple sclerosis

Eur J Neurol. 2001 Jul;8(4):321-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1468-1331.2001.00232.x.


CD154 (CD40-ligand, gp39), expressed on activated T cells, is crucial in T cell-dependent immune responses and may be involved in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). We studied cerebro-spinal fluid and peripheral blood T cell expression of CD154 in MS by flow cytometry. Patients with secondary progressive MS (SPMS) had constitutive CD154 expression on CD4 and CD8 T cells in blood. Constitutive CD154 expression was not observed in patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) or clinically isolated syndromes (CIS) suggestive of demyelinating disease. After ex vivo activation CD154 was, however, expressed on a higher percentage of T cells from patients with CIS or RRMS than from healthy control subjects. These results suggest involvement of CD154 in the pathogenesis of MS, and the shift from a relapsing-remitting to a secondary progressive disease course may be associated with constitutive, systemic CD154 expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • CD3 Complex / analysis
  • CD3 Complex / biosynthesis
  • CD40 Ligand / analysis
  • CD40 Ligand / biosynthesis*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive / immunology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / immunology*
  • Oligoclonal Bands
  • T-Lymphocytes / chemistry
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*


  • CD3 Complex
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Oligoclonal Bands
  • CD40 Ligand