CD40 expression in malignant plasma cells: Role in stimulation of autocrine IL-6 secretion by a human myeloma cell line

J. J. Westendorf, G. J. Ahmann, R. J. Armitage, M. K. Spriggs, J. A. Lust, P. R. Greipp, J. A. Katzmann, D. F. Jelinek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Myeloma is a neoplasia characterized by the accumulation of malignant plasma cells in the bone marrow. In these studies, we have demonstrated that CD40 is expressed in human myeloma cells and have used a recently established IL-6-dependent myeloma cell line, ANBL-6, to examine the potential function of CD40 expression in myeloma cells. In addition to its expression on the ANBL-6 cells, we show that CD40 is expressed on freshly isolated myeloma cells from seven of seven patients tested. To address the role of CD40 expression in myeloma cells, we have examined the responsiveness of the ANBL- 6 cell line to a CD40-specific mAb, G28-5. This cell line has previously been shown to proliferate only in response to IL-6. Of interest in this study, G28-5 also induced proliferation of the ANBL-6 cells. This proliferation was substantially inhibited by an IL-6-neutralizing mAb. Analysis of ANBL-6 cell culture supernatants by ELISA demonstrated that G28-5-stimulated cells secreted significant levels of IL-6, whereas unstimulated cell culture supernatants contained undetectable levels of IL-6. Furthermore, CV-1/EBNA cells expressing the human CD40 ligand also induced the proliferation of the ANBL-6 cell line, an effect that was inhibited by the anti-IL-6 mAb. Lastly, RNA blot analysis demonstrated an increase in IL-6 message in G28-5- stimulated ANBL-6 cells over unstimulated cells. These results indicate that the primary mechanism of anti-CD40-stimulated proliferation of the ANBL-6 cells is the induction of autocrine IL-6 production. Moreover, these data suggest that the expression of CD40 in malignant plasma cells may play a role in tumor cell expansion, possibly by stimulating the induction of autocrine IL-6 secretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-128
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'CD40 expression in malignant plasma cells: Role in stimulation of autocrine IL-6 secretion by a human myeloma cell line'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this