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Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2014 Apr;25(2):83-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cytogfr.2014.02.001. Epub 2014 Feb 12.

Lymphotoxin and TNF: how it all began-a tribute to the travelers.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public Health 60 College St., New Haven, CT, 06510, USA. Electronic address:


The journey from the discoveries of lymphotoxin (LT) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) to the present day age of cytokine inhibitors as therapeutics has been an exciting one with many participants and highs and lows; the saga is compared to that in "The Wizard of Oz". This communication summarizes the contributions of key players in the discovery of the cytokines and their receptors, the changes in nomenclature, and the discovery of the LT family's crucial role in secondary and tertiary lymphoid organs. The remarkable advances in therapeutics are detailed as are remaining problems. Finally, special tribute is paid to two pioneers in the field who have recently passed away: Byron H. Waksman and Lloyd Old.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Byron H. Waksman; Lloyd Old; Lymphotoxin; Secondary lymphoid organs; Tertiary lymphoid organs; The Wizard of Oz; Therapeutic inhibitors of LT and TNF; Tumor necrosis factor

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