The role of CD40-CD154 interaction in antiviral T cell-independent IgG responses.
Polyomavirus (PyV) infection elicits protective T cell-independent (TI) IgG responses in T cell-deficient mice. The question addressed in this report is whether CD40 signaling plays a role in this TI antiviral IgG response. Because CD40 ligand (CD40L) can be expressed on numerous cell types in addition to activated T cells, it is possible that cells other than T cells provide CD40L tosignal through CD40 on B cells and hence positively influence the antiviral TI IgG responses. In this study we show, by blocking CD40-CD40L interactions in vivo with anti-CD40L Ab treatment in TCR betaxdelta-/- mice and by using SCID mice reconstituted with CD40-/- B cells, that the lack of CD40 signaling in B cells results in a 50% decrease in TI IgG secreted in response to PyV. SCID mice reconstituted with CD40L-/- B cells also responded to PyV infection with diminished IgG secretion compared with that of SCID mice reconstituted with wild-type B cells. This finding suggests that B cells may provide the CD40L for CD40 signaling in the absence of T cell help during acute virus infection. Our studies demonstrate that, although about half of the TI IgG responses to PyV areindependent of CD40-CD40L interactions, these interactions occur in T cell-deficient mice and enhance antiviral TI Ab responses.