TNF-alpha

For those who want to know more

TNF alpha (Tumor Necrosis Factor) is a cytokine, a cell signaling protein which acts as a central regulator of inflammation. The majority of TNF alpha is produced by macrophages but a wide variety of other cell types can also produce it.

TNF alpha has two main receptors: TNFR1 and TNFR2.

Binding of TNFR1 or TNFR2 with TNF alpha results in activation of downstream pathways such as, NF-kappaB, JNK , p38 MAPK pathways and death signaling.

TNF alpha signaling is an essential part of the immune system as inhibits tumorigenesis, prevents viral replication and is an endogenous pyrogen inducing fever and apoptosis. Dysregulation of this pathway has been implicated in a variety of disorders including cancer, autoimmune diseases, Alzheimerfs disease and depression. It is said that  thalidomide inefficiently, but selectively, inhibits the production of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) in human monocytes in a dose-dependent fashion, with no effect on total protein synthesis or the production of other cytokines. But inefficiency can be compensated by the combination of celecoxib and low blood albumin, although weak, is observed with long-term use.