5 Scopus citations


TNF ligation of TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1) promotes either inflammation and cell survival by (a) inhibiting RIPK1’s death-signaling function and activating NF-κB or (b) causing RIPK1 to associate with the death-inducing signaling complex to initiate apoptosis or necroptosis. The cellular source of TNF that results in RIPK1-dependent cell death remains unclear. To address this, we employed in vitro systems and murine models of T cell–dependent transplant or tumor rejection in which target cell susceptibility to RIPK1-dependent cell death could be genetically altered. We show that TNF released by T cells is necessary and sufficient to activate RIPK1-dependent cell death in target cells and thereby mediate target cell cytolysis independently of T cell frequency. Activation of the RIPK1-dependent cell death program in target cells by T cell–derived TNF accelerates murine cardiac allograft rejection and synergizes with anti-PD1 administration to destroy checkpoint blockade–resistant murine melanoma. Together, the findings uncover a distinct immunological role for TNF released by cytotoxic effector T cells following cognate interactions with their antigenic targets. Manipulating T cell TNF and/or target cell susceptibility to RIPK1-dependent cell death can be exploited to either mitigate or augment T cell–dependent destruction of allografts and malignancies to improve outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere148643
JournalJCI insight
Issue number24
StatePublished - 22 Dec 2021


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