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Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) mediates its pleiotropic effects via high-affinity cell surface receptors. In man, molecular cloning has identified two distinct, independent TNF receptors (TNFR) of 55 and 75 kDa. It is unclear, however, whether the multiple effects of TNF are suggested between the receptor types. In the mouse, previous studies had shown functional heterogeneity of TNFR, since the WEHI 164 fibroblast line is sensitive to the cytotoxic effects of both murine and human TNF, whereas the murine T cell line, CT6, proliferates in response to murine but not human TNF. In this study, the cloning of a cDNA encoding the murine homologue of the p55 TNFR is reported. This receptor binds murine and human TNF with equal affinity and is expressed on WEHI 164 and a number of other cell lines, but only low levels of mRNA and no protein is detectable on CT6 cells. CT6 cells, however, express a second TNFR of approximately 75 kDa, identified by cross-linking analysis, which is also found on WEHI 164 cells, and binds only murine TNF. These studies establish that there are also two TNFR in the mouse, and suggests that there may be segregation of the cytotoxic and proliferative responses between different receptors, at least in these cell lines.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Immunol

Publication Date





1649 - 1656


Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Base Sequence, Cell Line, Cloning, Molecular, DNA, Humans, Mice, Molecular Sequence Data, Molecular Weight, RNA, Messenger, Receptors, Cell Surface, Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Species Specificity, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha