CD40 ligand deficiency causes functional defects of peripheral neutrophils that are improved by exogenous IFN-γ

Otavio Cabral-Marques, Tabata Takahashi França, Ashraf Al-Sbiei, Lena Friederike Schimke, Taj Ali Khan, Claudia Feriotti, Tania Alves da Costa, Osvaldo Reis Junior, Cristina Worm Weber, Janaíra Fernandes Ferreira, Fabiola Scancetti Tavares, Claudia Valente, Regina Sumiko Watanabe Di Gesu, Asif Iqbal, Gabriela Riemekasten, Gustavo Pessini Amarante-Mendes, José Alexandre Marzagão Barbuto, Beatriz Tavares Costa-Carvalho, Paulo Vitor Soeiro Pereira, Maria J. Fernandez-CabezudoVera Lucia Garcia Calich, Luigi D. Notarangelo, Troy R. Torgerson, Basel K. al-Ramadi, Hans D. Ochs, Antonio Condino-Neto*

*Corresponding author for this work
13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Patients with X-linked hyper-IgM syndrome caused by CD40 ligand (CD40L) deficiency often present with episodic, cyclic, or chronic neutropenia, suggesting abnormal neutrophil development in the absence of CD40L-CD40 interaction. However, even when not neutropenic and despite immunoglobulin replacement therapy, CD40L-deficient patients are susceptible to life-threatening infections caused by opportunistic pathogens, suggesting impaired phagocyte function and the need for novel therapeutic approaches. Objectives: We sought to analyze whether peripheral neutrophils from CD40L-deficient patients display functional defects and to explore the in vitro effects of recombinant human IFN-γ (rhIFN-γ) on neutrophil function. Methods: We investigated the microbicidal activity, respiratory burst, and transcriptome profile of neutrophils from CD40L-deficient patients. In addition, we evaluated whether the lack of CD40L in mice also affects neutrophil function. Results: Neutrophils from CD40L-deficient patients exhibited defective respiratory burst and microbicidal activity, which were improved in vitro by rhIFN-γ but not soluble CD40L. Moreover, neutrophils from patients showed reduced CD16 protein expression and a dysregulated transcriptome suggestive of impaired differentiation. Similar to CD40L-deficient patients, CD40L knockout mice were found to have impaired neutrophil responses. In parallel, we demonstrated that soluble CD40L induces the promyelocytic cell line HL-60 to proliferate and mature by regulating the expression of genes of the same Gene Ontology categories (eg, cell differentiation) when compared with those dysregulated in peripheral blood neutrophils from CD40L-deficient patients. Conclusion: Our data suggest a nonredundant role of CD40L-CD40 interaction in neutrophil development and function that could be improved in vitro by rhIFN-γ indicating a potential novel therapeutic application for this cytokine.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1571-1588.e9
Publication statusPublished - 11.2018

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)


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