TNF ligands and receptors in autoimmunity: an update

Curr Opin Immunol. 2002 Dec;14(6):783-90. doi: 10.1016/s0952-7915(02)00407-7.


Over two decades of research have increased the interest in factors from the tumor necrosis factor family. The vast majority of these factors are powerful modulators of critical immune functions and participate in pathogenic mechanisms leading to autoimmune disease. This field constantly evolves with the addition of new family members and the discovery of their function. During the past few years several additional factors from this family, such as BAFF, RANKL, TRAIL and GITRL, have emerged with novel functions that regulate both T and B cell immune tolerance and participate in tissue destruction in autoimmunity. These new findings revealed exciting innovative strategies for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / etiology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / metabolism*
  • B-Cell Activating Factor
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Lymphotoxin-alpha / immunology
  • Lymphotoxin-alpha / metabolism
  • Lymphotoxin-beta
  • Membrane Proteins / immunology
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / immunology
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / metabolism*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism*


  • B-Cell Activating Factor
  • LTB protein, human
  • Ligands
  • Ltb protein, mouse
  • Lymphotoxin-alpha
  • Lymphotoxin-beta
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • TNFSF13B protein, human
  • Tnfsf13b protein, mouse
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha