Inflammation & Allergy-Drug Targets

(Formerly Current Drug Targets - Inflammation & Allergy)

Kurt S Zaenker
Institute of Immunology and Experimental Oncology
University Witten/Herdecke
Stockumerstraße 10
Witten, 58448


TNF-α in Tuberculosis: A Cytokine with a Split Personality

Author(s): Amanda Mootoo, Elena Stylianou, Mauricio A. Arias and Rajko Reljic

Affiliation: Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, St. George's Hospital Medical School, University of London, 43 Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0RE, UK.


TNF-α is an essential component of the innate defence mechanism of the host against pathogenic challenge. Unfortunately, it can also play a major role in the pathology of certain diseases, such as tuberculosis. This disease is a striking example of the role of TNF-α as a ‘double-edged sword’, because apart from its role in controlling the Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, it can also cause severe tissue damage. TNF-α exhibits a very complex network of interactions and many of its activities are still not fully understood. This report aims to review the pivotal role of TNF-α in controlling the mycobacterial infection, with a particular emphasis on its influence on chemokine expression and cell movement during granuloma formation, and the issues surrounding the use of TNF-α inhibitors for therapeutic use in inflammatory diseases.

Keywords: TNF-α, tuberculosis, Mycobacterium, granuloma, macrophage

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Article Details

Page: [53 - 62]
Pages: 10
DOI: 10.2174/187152809787582543