Anti-apoptosis function of TNF-alpha in chronic lymphocytic leukemia: lessons from Crohn's disease and the therapeutic potential of bupropion to lower TNF-alpha

Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz). Mar-Apr 2005;53(2):143-7.


Crohn's disease and B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) share a common link in their pathologic mechanisms. Lymphocytes in both diseases fail to undergo apoptosis and die properly. That failure is partly due to increased signaling by tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, and their respective pathologies directly follow from this apoptosis failure. Bupropion is a commonly used generic antidepressant in clinical use for over a decade, and early evidence indicates it lowers TNF levels. This paper suggests the use of bupropion in CLL to lower TNF levels, which may thereby slow CLL disease course.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Bupropion / pharmacology
  • Crohn Disease / immunology
  • Crohn Disease / pathology
  • Crohn Disease / therapy
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / immunology*
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / pathology
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / therapy*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / physiology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Bupropion