Development of an immunoassay for quantification of soluble human CD40L (CD154) in plasma and serum samples

Kathrine Pedersen, Nick Stub Laursen, Annette Gudmann Hansen, Yaseelan Palarasah, Steffen Thiel

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When the membrane protein CD40 ligand (CD40L) on activated T cells binds the receptor CD40 on B-cells, it provides a co-stimulatory signal for B cell activation. Dysregulation of the CD40L:CD40 axis is associated with inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The presence of soluble CD40L (sCD40L) in plasma is implicated in several diseases, from cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases to different types of cancer, and sCD40L has been suggested as a valuable marker of disease. If sCD40L is to be used as a biomarker, being able to precisely measure and quantify the levels of sCD40L in human blood samples is of utmost importance. We demonstrate the development of a sandwich-type time-resolved immunofluorometric assay for quantification of sCD40L in plasma or serum samples. For this, we generate 29 monoclonal anti-CD40L antibodies, and from these, we select the optimal combination of capture antibody and detection antibody. A number of variables were tested: the influence of the type of sample (comparing 3 different blood collection tubes for serum sampling and 4 different types of tubes for plasma sampling), the influence of freeze-thaw cycles, the influence of sampling time during night and day, and the influence of centrifugation of the samples. We found a very similar level of sCD40L in paired EDTA plasma and serum samples. Out of 100 healthy blood donor samples 61 had a level of sCD40L below the detection level of the assay, whereas the remaining 39 samples had ranging levels of sCD40L from 1.14 to 33.14 ng/mL. In summary, we present a time-resolved immunofluorometric assay based on paired monoclonal antibodies, ensuring high specificity, sensitivity, and homogeneity. The Eu3+-based assay additionally provides consistent assay readouts due to the extended decay time not seen in standard enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. The assay paves the way for specific and consistent quantification of sCD40L in human plasma and serum samples.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113710
JournalJournal of Immunological Methods
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11. Jun 2024


  • Biomarker
  • CD154
  • CD40:CD40L pathway
  • Immunoassay
  • Soluble CD40L


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