Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

TNF signals via two receptors, TNFR1 and TNFR2, which play contrasting roles in immunity. Most of the pro-inflammatory effects of TNF are mediated by TNFR1, whereas TNFR2 is mainly involved in immune homeostasis and tissue healing, but also contributes to tumour progression. However, all currently available anti-TNF biologics inhibit signalling via both receptors and there is increasing interest in the development of selective inhibitors; TNFR1 inhibitors for autoimmune disease and TNFR2 inhibitors for cancer. It is hypothesised that selective inhibition of TNFR1 in autoimmune disease would alleviate inflammation and promote homeostasis by allowing TNFR2 signalling to proceed unimpeded. Validation of this concept would pave the way for the development and testing of TNF specific antagonists. Another therapeutic approach being explored is the use of TNFR2 specific agonists, which could be administered alone or in combination with a TNFR1 antagonist.

Original publication




Journal article


Best pract res clin rheumatol

Publication Date



Autoimmunity, Inflammation, Rheumatoid arthritis, TNF, TNF receptors