TNF -->
tumour necrosis factor
medical dictionary


Originally described as a tumour inhibiting factor in the blood of animals exposed to bacterial lipopolysaccharide or Bacille Calmette-Guerin.

Preferentially kills tumour cells in vivo and in vitro, causes necrosis of certain transplanted tumours in mice and inhibits experimental metastases. Human Tumour Necrosis factor alpha is a protein of 157 amino acids and has a wide range of pro inflammatory actions. Usually considered a cytokine.

Synonyms: cachectin.

Acronym: TNF

American spelling: tumor necrosis factor

(13 Nov 1997)