The immune responses in CD40-deficient mice: impaired immunoglobulin class switching and germinal center formation

Immunity. 1994 Jun;1(3):167-78. doi: 10.1016/1074-7613(94)90095-7.


An engagement of CD40 with CD40 ligand (CD40L) expressed on activated T cells is known to provide an essential costimulatory signal to B cells in vitro. To investigate the role of CD40 in in vivo immune responses, CD40-deficient mice were generated by gene targeting. The significant reduction of CD23 expression on mature B cells and relatively decreased number of IgM bright and IgD dull B cells were observed in the mutant mice. The mutant mice mounted IgM responses but no IgG, IgA, and IgE responses to thymus-dependent (TD) antigens. However, IgG as well as IgM responses to thymus-independent (TI) antigens were normal. Furthermore, the germinal center formation was defective in the mutant mice. These results suggest that CD40 is essential for T cell-dependent immunoglobulin class switching and germinal center formation, but not for in vivo T cell-dependent IgM responses and T cell-independent antibody responses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation
  • Antigens, CD / genetics
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism*
  • Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte / genetics
  • Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte / metabolism*
  • Antigens, T-Independent / metabolism
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Base Sequence
  • CD40 Antigens
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Targeting
  • Granulocytes
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Class Switching*
  • Immunoglobulin M / biosynthesis
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Job Syndrome / immunology
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lymphoid Tissue / immunology*
  • Lymphoid Tissue / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phenotype
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte
  • Antigens, T-Independent
  • CD40 Antigens
  • DNA Primers
  • Immunoglobulin M