Expression of CD40 ligand (CD154) in B and T lymphocytes of Hodgkin disease: Potential therapeutic significance

Katharina Clodi, Zahra Asgari, Mamoun Younes, J. Lynn Palmer, Fernando Cabanillas, Antonino Carbone, Michael Andreeff, Anas Younes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND. The malignant Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg (H/RS) cells of Hodgkin disease (HD) express CD30 and CD40 receptors that can activate nuclear factor kappa B and transduce survival signals. The authors have reported previously that the B lymphocytes of HD express CD30 ligand (CD30L, CD153). Furthermore, they and others have reported previously that the CD40L survival pathway is augmented in patients with B-cell malignancies, as CD40L was constitutively expressed by the malignant B cells and infiltrating T cells, and sera from those patients contained elevated levels of soluble CD40L. In this study, the authors investigated the hypothesis that the survival of H/RS cells was similarly promoted by an augmented CD40L signals in HD patients. METHODS. The expression of CD40L on lymphocyte subsets of patients with classic HD was determined by two-color fluorescent-activated cell sorter analysis. Serum soluble CD40L levels were determined by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. RESULTS. CD40L was constitutively expressed on both the T and B cells of HD patients but was more prominently expressed on the B lymphocytes. Soluble CD40L was detected in the serum of 17 of 37 patients (45%) and was higher than 1 ng/mL in 4 patients (10%). Both interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-10, which are known to be secreted by H/RS cells and surrounding T cells, up-regulated CD40L expression on normal B cells. CONCLUSIONS. Thus, the expression of CD40L and CD30L on the B cells of HD patients suggests that B lymphocytes may play a role in the regulation of H/RS cell growth in vivo. Depriving H/RS cells from CD30L and CD40L survival signals by eliminating B cells from HD lesions may be of therapeutic value.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2002


  • B lymphocytes
  • CD154
  • CD40
  • Reed-Sternberg cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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