The inflammatory action of CD40 ligand (CD154) expressed on activated human platelets is temporally limited by coexpressed CD40

Blood. 2001 Aug 15;98(4):1047-54. doi: 10.1182/blood.v98.4.1047.


Recently, we have demonstrated that human platelets carry preformed CD40 ligand (CD154) molecules, which rapidly appear on the platelet surface following stimulation by thrombin. Once on the surface, platelet CD154 induces an inflammatory reaction of CD40-bearing endothelial cells. This study shows that strong platelet agonists other than thrombin also lead to the expression of CD154 on the platelet surface. At the same time, several lines of evidence are presented that together indicate that thrombotic events in the vasculature are generally accompanied by activation of the inflammatory potential of platelet CD154. This study also reports the constitutive expression of CD40, the receptor for CD154, on platelets. The binding of CD154 to coexpressed CD40 in the platelet aggregate leads within minutes to hours to the cleavage of membrane-bound surface CD154 and the release of an 18-kd soluble form of the molecule. Soluble CD154 (sCD154), in contrast to transmembrane CD154, can no longer induce an inflammatory reaction of endothelial cells. These findings indicate that the interaction of platelet CD154 with CD40 on neighboring cells is temporally limited to prevent an uncontrolled inflammation at the site of thrombus formation. Thus, similar to the very tight regulation of the CD154-CD40 interaction in the immune system, an effective mechanism controls the inflammatory potential of platelet CD154 in the vascular system. (Blood. 2001;98:1047-1054)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Coagulation
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism*
  • CD40 Antigens / metabolism
  • CD40 Antigens / pharmacology*
  • CD40 Ligand / drug effects
  • CD40 Ligand / metabolism
  • CD40 Ligand / pharmacology*
  • Drug Antagonism
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Inflammation / etiology*
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Inflammation Mediators / pharmacology
  • Platelet Activation / physiology
  • Thrombosis / metabolism
  • Thrombosis / pathology
  • Time Factors


  • CD40 Antigens
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • CD40 Ligand