Properties of mouse CD40: cellular distribution of CD40 and B cell activation by monoclonal anti-mouse CD40 antibodies

Eur J Immunol. 1994 Aug;24(8):1835-42. doi: 10.1002/eji.1830240817.


We describe here the derivation of a rat monoclonal antibody (mAb) against mouse CD40 (designated 3/23), which stains 45-50% of spleen cells of adult mice, approximately 90% of which are B cells. Interestingly, some 5-10% of both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in the spleens of (some, but not all) adult, unimmunized mice are also CD40+, whereas CD40+ cells were not detectable in the thymus, even following collagenase digestion. Some 35-40% of lymphoid cells in the bone marrow of adult mice are CD40+ and virtually all of these are B220+, and hence of the B cell lineage: triple-color flow cytometry showed that CD40 is expressed at low levels on some 30% of pre-B cells, at intermediate levels on 80% of immature B cells and on essentially all mature B cells in the bone marrow. These results, therefore, suggest that in the mouse CD40 is expressed relatively late during the process of B cell differentiation. The mAb induced marked up-regulation of major histocompatibility complex class II molecules, CD23 and B7.2 antigens on mature B cells. It also stimulated modest levels of DNA synthesis in mature B cells by itself: this was markedly enhanced by suboptimal concentrations of mitogenic (but not non-mitogenic) anti-mu and anti-delta mAb, and moderately enhanced by co-stimulation with interleukin-4. Hypercross-linking of CD40 (using biotinylated mAb and avidin) also enhanced the proliferative response to anti-CD40.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology*
  • Antigens, CD / biosynthesis
  • Antigens, CD / immunology*
  • Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte / biosynthesis
  • Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • B7-1 Antigen / immunology
  • Bone Marrow Cells
  • CD40 Antigens
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / immunology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Receptors, IgE / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte
  • B7-1 Antigen
  • CD40 Antigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Receptors, IgE