CD40 and its crucial role as a member of the TNFR family

Semin Immunol. 1998 Dec;10(6):435-42. doi: 10.1006/smim.1998.0145.


The cell surface molecule CD40 is a member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) family and plays a pivotal role in the immune system due in part to its wide tissue distribution. Early studies focused on CD40 in B cell biology, but recent work demonstrates a broader role for CD40 in the immune system contributing to cell-mediated as well as humoral immune responses. Disruption of CD40 and its ligand, CD154 leads to immunodeficiency as in the case of hyper IgM syndrome. Likewise, blockade of CD40-CD154 interactions can be exploited to control misguided autoimmune responses. This article provides a brief overview of CD40 with a focus on its involvement in disease and its usefulness as a therapeutic target.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • CD40 Antigens / immunology*
  • CD40 Antigens / metabolism*
  • CD40 Ligand
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular / immunology
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / immunology
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / immunology*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / immunology*
  • Signal Transduction / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • CD40 Antigens
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • CD40 Ligand