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Microb Pathog. 1992 May;12(5):333-41.

Local induction of tumor necrosis factor as a molecular mechanism of mucosal damage by gonococci.

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Center for Infectious Diseases, Diagnostic Microbiology, and Immunology, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City 84132.


Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is an endogenously produced cytokine that plays a critical role in mediating septic shock and multi-organ failure, but previous studies of the role TNF in disease have not examined its role in mucosal disease processes. In an experimental model of acute gonococcal salpingitis, gonococcal infection of human fallopian tube mucosa resulted in increased mucosal production of TNF. Recombinant human TNF-alpha damaged fallopian tube mucosa in a dose-response manner and produced epithelial damage with the same ultrastructural features as those observed in gonococcal infection. Blocking production of TNF during gonococcal infection diminished the extent of damage to fallopian tube mucosa. In addition to mediating systemic disease, such as septic shock, TNF is also produced locally, and can play a critical role in mediating mucosal disease processes, such as acute gonococcal salpingitis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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