TNF Receptor 2 and Disease: Autoimmunity and Regenerative Medicine

Front Immunol. 2013 Dec 23:4:478. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2013.00478.


THE REGULATORY CYTOKINE TUMOR NECROSIS FACTOR (TNF) EXERTS ITS EFFECTS THROUGH TWO RECEPTORS: TNFR1 and TNFR2. Defects in TNFR2 signaling are evident in a variety of autoimmune diseases. One new treatment strategy for autoimmune disease is selective destruction of autoreactive T cells by administration of TNF, TNF inducers, or TNFR2 agonism. A related strategy is to rely on TNFR2 agonism to induce T-regulatory cells (Tregs) that suppress cytotoxic T cells. Targeting TNFR2 as a treatment strategy is likely superior to TNFR1 because of its more limited cellular distribution on T cells, subsets of neurons, and a few other cell types, whereas TNFR1 is expressed throughout the body. This review focuses on TNFR2 expression, structure, and signaling; TNFR2 signaling in autoimmune disease; treatment strategies targeting TNFR2 in autoimmunity; and the potential for TNFR2 to facilitate end organ regeneration.

Keywords: TNF; TNF receptor 2; autoimmune disease; regeneration; type 1 diabetes.