CD40L is transferred to antigen-presenting B cells during delivery of T-cell help

Jennifer L. Gardell, David C. Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The delivery of T-cell help to B cells is antigen-specific, MHC-restricted, and CD40L (CD154) dependent. It has been thought that when a T cell recognizes an antigen-presenting B cell, CD40L expressed on the T-cell surface engages with CD40 on the surface of B cells as long as the cells remain conjugated. By adding fluorescently labeled anti-CD40L antibody during overnight incubation of antigen-presenting B cells with antigen-specific T cells, we discovered that CD40L does not remain on the surface of the T cell, but it is transferred to and endocytosed by B cells receiving T-cell help. In the presence of anti-CD40L antibody, transferred CD40L is nearly absent on bystander B cells that are not presenting antigen, and the bystander cells do not become activated. Because transfer of CD40L to B cells correlates with B-cell activation, we speculate that persistence of helper T-cell-derived CD40L on or in B cells could permit sustained CD40 signaling enabling survival and proliferation of antigen-presenting B cells following brief interactions with helper T cells in vivo in germinal centers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-50
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • CD154
  • CD40 ligand
  • CD40L
  • Immunological synapse
  • Membrane transfer
  • T-cell help

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'CD40L is transferred to antigen-presenting B cells during delivery of T-cell help'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this