CD40 and IgE: Synergism between anti-CD40 monoclonal antibody and interleukin 4 in the induction of IgE synthesis by highly purified human B cells

Haifa H. Jabara, Shu Man Fu, Raif S. Geha, Donata Vercelli

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419 Scopus citations


A novel pathway of IgE-B cell differentiation has been identified. Engagement of the B cell antigen CD40 by F(ab')2 fragments of monoclonal antibody (mAb) 626.1 in the presence of recombinant interleukin 4 (rIL-4) induced intense IgE synthesis, but modest IgG synthesis, by highly purified human B cells. Surface IgE- B cells isolated by cell sorting were induced to produce IgE by mAb 626.1 and IL-4. Thus, IgE synthesis is unlikely to result from expansion of a B cell population precommitted to IgE in vivo. A neutralizing anti-IL-6 antibody strongly, but not completely, inhibited the IgE response. This indicates that autocrine production of IL-6 plays an important amplification role in IgE synthesis triggered by anti-CD40 mAb and IL-4. Although the exact role played by CD40 in IgE responses in vivo remains to be established, this T cell-independent system represents a useful model to characterize the biochemical and molecular events leading to IgE synthesis in human B cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1861-1864
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1990
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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