Cachectin/TNF (tumor necrosis factor), an endotoxin-induced murine macrophage hormone implicated in the pathogenesis of cachexia and shock, has been found capable of stimulating collagenase and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production by isolated human synovial cells and dermal fibroblasts. This bioactivity associated with cachectin is comparable to that observed with the monokine interleukin 1 (IL-1), previously suggested as the major mediator of proteolysis. The ability of cachectin/TNF to stimulate collagenase and PGE2 production suggests that it may play a role in tissue destruction and remodelling, as these processes occur in inflammatory diseases.

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