The CD154-CD40 T-cell co-stimulation pathway in liver ischemia and reperfusion inflammatory responses

Bibo Ke, Xiu Da Shen, Feng Gao, Seiichiro Tsuchihashi, Douglas G. Farmer, David Briscoe, Ronald W. Busuttil, Jerzy W. Kupiec-Weglinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Background. Ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury is a prime antigen-independent inflammatory factor in the dysfunction of liver transplants. The precise contribution of T cells in the mechanism of I/R injury remains to be elucidated. As the CD154-CD40 co-stimulation pathway provides essential second signal in the initiation and maintenance of T-cell-dependent immune responses, this study was designed to assess the role of CD154 signaling in the pathophysiology of liver I/R injury. Methods. A mouse model of partial 90-min warm hepatic ischemia followed by 6 hr of reperfusion was used. Three animal groups were studied: (1) wild-type (WT) mice treated with Ad-(-gal versus Ad-CD40 immunoglobulin; (2) untreated WT versus CD154 (MR1) monoclonal antibody-treated WT mice; and (3) untreated WT versus CD154 knockout mice. Results. The disruption of CD154 signaling in all three animal groups ameliorated otherwise fulminant liver injury, as evidenced by depressed serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase levels, compared with controls. These beneficial effects were accompanied by depressed hepatic T-cell sequestration, local decrease of vascular endothelial growth factor expression, inhibition of tumor necrosis factor-(and T-helper type 1 cytokine production, and induction of antiapoptotic (Bcl-2/Bcl-xl) but depression of proapoptotic (caspase-3) proteins. Conclusions. By using in parallel a gene therapy approach, pharmacologic blockade, and genetically targeted mice, these findings document the benefits of disrupting CD154 to selectively modulate inflammatory responses in liver I/R injury. This study reinforces the key role of CD154-CD40 T-cell co-stimulation in the pathophysiology of liver I/R injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1078-1083
Number of pages6
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 15 2005


  • CD154-CD40
  • Gene transfer
  • Ischemia-reperfusion injury
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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