Physiological, Immunological, and Pathological Functions of Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) Revealed by TNF Receptor-Deficient Mice

  • Horst Bluethmann
Part of the Contemporary Immunology book series (CONTIM)


Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) has a long history that goes back well into the last century. It is now a hundred years ago that the surgeon William Coley observed a remission of inoperable tumors in some patients after infusion of bacterial toxins (1,2). Unacceptable side effects, however, and a lack of understanding of how these toxins induced hemorrhages in tumors, prevented the further development and application of this treatment. It was more than 60 years later when O’Malley et al. (3) realized that bacterial toxins acted indirectly by inducing an endogenous factor in the host that caused hemorrhagic necrosis in tumors and was hence later called TNF (4,5).Since then, TNF has attracted a great deal of attention and was found to participate in a vast variety of cellular activities that collectively make it the most pleiotropic cytokine identified so far.


Tumor Necrosis Factor Mutant Mouse Germinal Center Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Tumor Necrosis Factor Family 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Horst Bluethmann

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