Inhibition of human breast carcinoma growth by a soluble recombinant human CD40 ligand

Akio Hirano, Dan L. Longo, Dennis D. Taub, Douglas K. Ferris, Lawrence S. Young, Arisitides G. Eliopoulos, Angelo Agathanggelou, Nicky Cullen, James Macartney, William C. Fanslow, William J Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


CD40 is present on B cells, monocytes, dendritic cells, and endothelial cells, as well as a variety of neoplastic cell types, including carcinomas. CD40 stimulation by an antibody has previously been demonstrated to induce activation-induced cell death in aggressive histology human B-cell lymphoma cell lines. Therefore, we wanted to assess the effects of a recombinant soluble human CD40 ligand (srhCD40L) on human breast carcinoma cell lines. Human breast carcinoma cell lines were examined for CD40 expression by flow cytometry. CD40 expression could be detected on several human breast cancer cell lines and this could be augmented with interferon-γ. The cell lines were then incubated with a srhCD40L to assess effects on in vitro growth, srhCD40L significantly inhibited the proliferation of the CD40+ human breast cancer cell lines. This inhibition could also be augmented with interferon- γ. Viability was also affected and this was shown to be due to increased apoptosis of the cell lines in response to the ligand. Treatment of tumor- bearing mice was then performed to assess the in vivo efficacy of the ligand. Treatment of tumor-bearing SCID mice with the ligand resulted in significant increases in survival. Thus, CD40 stimulation by its ligand directly inhibits human breast carcinoma cells in vitro and in vivo. These results suggest that srhCD40L may be of clinical use to inhibit human breast carcinoma growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2999-3007
Number of pages9
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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