CD40-CD154-mediated contact-dependent signals between B and T cells are required for the generation of thymus dependent (TD) humoral immune responses. CD40-CD154 interactions are however also important in many other cell systems. CD40 is expressed by a large variety of cell types other than B cells, and these include dendritic cells, follicular dendritic cells, monocytes, macrophages, mast cells, fibroblasts, and endothelial cells. CD40- and CD154-knockout mice and antibodies to CD40 and CD154 have helped to elucidate the role of the CD40-CD154 system in immune responses. Recently published studies indicate that CD40-CD154 interactions can influence T cell priming and T cell-mediated effector functions; they can also upregulate costimulatory molecules and activate macrophages, NK cells, and endothelia as well as participate in organ-specific autoimmune disease, graft rejection, and even atherosclerosis. This review focuses on the role of the CD40-CD154 system in the regulation of many newly discovered functions important in inflammation and cell-mediated immunity.