The cluster of differentiation 40 (CD40) is activated by the CD40 ligand (CD40L) in a variety of diverse cells types and regulates important processes associated with kidney disease. The CD40/CD40L signaling cascade has been comprehensively studied for its roles in immune functions, whereas the signaling axis involved in local kidney injury has only drawn attention in recent years. Clinical studies have revealed that circulating levels of soluble CD40L (sCD40L) are associated with renal function in the setting of kidney disease. Levels of the circulating CD40 receptor (sCD40), sCD40L, and local CD40 expression are tightly related to renal injury in different types of kidney disease. Additionally, various kidney cell types have been identified as non-professional antigen-presenting cells (APCs) that express CD40 on the cell membrane, which contributes to the interactions between immune cells and local kidney cells during the development of kidney injury. Although the potential for adverse CD40 signaling in kidney cells has been reported in several studies, a summary of those studies focusing on the role of CD40 signaling in the development of kidney disease is lacking. In this review, we describe the outcomes of recent studies and summarize the potential therapeutic methods for kidney disease which target CD40.
Keywords: CD40; chronic kidney disease; renal fibrosis.