Dissection of the multiple mechanisms of TNF-α-induced apoptosis in liver injury

Wen Xing Ding, Xiao Ming Yin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

233 Scopus citations


Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α-induced hepatocyte apoptosis is implicated in a wide range of liver diseases including viral hepatitis, alcoholic hepatitis, ischemia/reperfusion liver injury, and fulminant hepatic failure. TNF-α exerts a variety of effects that are mediated mainly by TNF-receptor 1 (TNF-R1) in cell death. The activation of TNF-R1 leads to the activation of multiple apoptotic pathways involving the activation of the pro-death Bcl-2 family proteins, reactive oxygen species, C-Jun NH2-terminal kinase, cathepsin B, acidic sphingomyelinase and neutral sphingomyelinase. These pathways are closely interlinked and mainly act on mitochondria, which release the apoptogenic factors and other events, resulting in apoptosis. This article reviews the recent progress in the molecular mechanisms of TNF-α-induced apoptosis in hepatocytes, and discusses how these molecular findings are shaping our understanding of the pathogenesis of liver diseases and our strategy to develop novel therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-454
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2004


  • Apoptosis
  • Bcl-2 family proteins
  • Liver injury
  • Mitochondria
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • TNF-α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Cell Biology

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