Antibody to the ligand of CD40, gp39, blocks the occurrence of the acute and chronic forms of graft-vs-host disease

J Clin Invest. 1994 Sep;94(3):1333-8. doi: 10.1172/JCI117453.


Chronic and acute graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD and aGVHD) result from donor cells responding to host disparate MHC alleles. In cGVHD (H-2d-->H-2bd), heightened polyclonal immunoglobulin production is due to the interaction of donor allospecific helper T cells (Th) and the host B cells. In vivo administration of antibody to the ligand for CD40, gp39, blocked cGVHD-induced serum anti-DNA autoantibodies, IgE production, spontaneous immunoglobulin production in vitro, and associated splenomegaly. Antibody production remained inhibited for extended periods of time after termination of anti-gp39 administration. Antiallogeneic CTL responses induced in a GVHD were also prevented by the in vivo administration of anti-gp39 as was the associated splenomegaly. These data suggest that CD40-gp39 interactions are critical in GVHD and that CD40-gp39 may be a valuable ligand-receptor pair for targeting immunotherapeutic agents to control GVHD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Antibodies / pharmacology*
  • Antibodies / therapeutic use
  • Antibody Formation
  • Antigens, CD / immunology*
  • Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte / immunology*
  • CD40 Antigens
  • Chronic Disease
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Graft vs Host Disease / immunology
  • Graft vs Host Disease / prevention & control*
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes / analysis
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred DBA
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Spleen / transplantation


  • Antibodies
  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte
  • CD40 Antigens
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes
  • Immunoglobulin E