Activation of human B lymphocytes through CD40 and interleukin 4

Eur J Immunol. 1989 Aug;19(8):1463-7. doi: 10.1002/eji.1830190818.


We have produced and characterized a new CD40 monoclonal antibody, mAb 89, which in the presence of anti-IgM antibodies co-stimulates to induce B cell proliferation. mAb 89 activates resting B cells as shown by an increase in cell volume and an enhanced subsequent proliferation of B cells in response to anti-IgM antibody. However, mAb 89 does not prepare B cells to respond to the growth-promoting activity of interleukin (IL) 2 or IL 4. Unlike IL 2 and IL 4, mAb 89 only weakly stimulates the proliferation of anti-IgM pre-activated B cells. Thus, the activating properties of anti-CD40 are likely to explain its co-stimulatory effect on B cells. Interestingly, the anti-CD40 mAb 89 was found to act in synergy with IL 4, but not with IL 2, in co-stimulation and restimulation assays. In this respect, anti-CD40 does not induce a significant increase of B cell surface IL 4 receptors while IL 4, but not IL 2, induces a twofold increase of the CD40 antigen expression. Thus the synergistic interaction between IL 4 and anti-CD40 may be related to the IL 4-dependent increase of CD40 antigen expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte / physiology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD40 Antigens
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Interleukin-4
  • Interleukins / physiology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-4
  • Receptors, Mitogen / metabolism
  • Time Factors


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte
  • CD40 Antigens
  • Interleukins
  • Receptors, Interleukin-4
  • Receptors, Mitogen
  • Interleukin-4