The significance of OX40 and OX40L to T-cell biology and immune disease

Immunol Rev. 2009 May;229(1):173-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-065X.2009.00766.x.


OX40 (CD134) and its binding partner, OX40L (CD252), are members of the tumor necrosis factor receptor/tumor necrosis factor superfamily and are expressed on activated CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells as well as on a number of other lymphoid and non-lymphoid cells. Costimulatory signals from OX40 to a conventional T cell promote division and survival, augmenting the clonal expansion of effector and memory populations as they are being generated to antigen. OX40 additionally suppresses the differentiation and activity of T-regulatory cells, further amplifying this process. OX40 and OX40L also regulate cytokine production from T cells, antigen-presenting cells, natural killer cells, and natural killer T cells, and modulate cytokine receptor signaling. In line with these important modulatory functions, OX40-OX40L interactions have been found to play a central role in the development of multiple inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, making them attractive candidates for intervention in the clinic. Conversely, stimulating OX40 has shown it to be a candidate for therapeutic immunization strategies for cancer and infectious disease. This review provides a broad overview of the biology of OX40 including the intracellular signals from OX40 that impact many aspects of immune function and have promoted OX40 as one of the most prominent costimulatory molecules known to control T cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD40 Antigens / immunology*
  • CD40 Ligand / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Signal Transduction / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*


  • CD40 Antigens
  • CD40 Ligand