TNF - Tumor Necrosis Factor


The TNF is one cytokine (a type of acute phase protein) that comes into play during the inflammatory processes of our body. The Tumor Necrosis Factor is also a glycoprotein as an oligosaccharide residue (a type of sugar) is linked to the classic protein structure of amino acids, which is mainly produced by activated macrophages and monocytes, and to a lesser extent by lymphocytes, neutrophils and eosinophils, and mast cells.

The TNF has a modulating action on our immune system. In particular:

  • It has a high necrotizing activity towards tumor cell lines and increases the possibility of rejection in transplant patients.
  • It plays a fundamental role in the acute phase of infection, together with interleukin 1 (IL-1) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) of which it contributes directly to the production.
  • It inhibits viral replication in the body
  • It inhibits the activity of hepatic lipoproteinlipase which can lead to hyperlipemia (increase in circulating lipids).
  • It is responsible for the sopor and cachexia (weight loss with worsening of nutritional status) characteristic of chronic infections and contributes to the dysfunctions present in septic shock.
  • It also appears to play a role in pathologies with chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), depression and Alzheimer's disease.

High levels of Tumor Necrosis Factor they can be found in all situations of inflammation and phlogosis, and have both diagnostic and prognostic significance.

The TNF it is also used as a drug with the active ingredient Tasonermin (Trade name Beromun). Recombinant TNF therapy promotes the increase of interleukin 6 and is used in some forms of tumors such as sarcomas.


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