Thalidomide can be either agonistic or antagonistic to LPS evoked synthesis of TNF-alpha by mononuclear cells

Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 1996 Feb;18(1):59-72. doi: 10.3109/08923979609007110.


The effect if thalidomide on tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) produced in vitro by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulated human cells was investigated. In cultures of LPS stimulated human mononuclear cells enriched for adherent cells and in cultures of LPS stimulated human monocytes of the cell line-THP-1, thalidomide enhanced the synthesis of TNF-alpha. When cultures of unfractionated peripheral blood mononuclear cells were stimulated with LPS, thalidomide decreased the synthesis of TNF-alpha. Depending on the type of cells stimulated with LPS in vitro, thalidomide, at concentrations achieved in vivo, can either enhance or suppress the synthesis of TNF-alpha.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Adhesion / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / drug effects*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Thalidomide / pharmacology*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis*


  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Thalidomide