Increased Bioavailability of TNF-α in African Americans During In Vitro Infection: Predisposing Evidence for Immune Imbalance

R. Menon, P. Thorsen, I. Vogel, B. Jacobsson, S. M. Williams, S. J. Fortunato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this study is to examine TNF-α and its soluble and membrane bound receptors in fetal membranes derived from blacks and whites in response to in vitro infectious stimulus, and the balance between TNF-α and the receptors. Fetal membranes collected from black and white women at term were maintained in an organ explant system and stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). TNF-α, soluble TNF receptors (sTNFR1 and sTNFR2) in culture media and membrane bound TNF receptors (TNFR1 and TNFR2) in tissue homogenates were measured. Molar ratio (TNF/sTNFR) was calculated between LPS stimulated and unstimulated (controls) cultures in both races. TNF-α was increased in both races after LPS stimulation and showed no difference between races (p = 0.7). LPS decreased sTNFR1 in blacks, but increased in whites, showing a significant difference between races (p = 0.001). In blacks sTNFR2 also decreased and increased in whites, but the results were not significant between races (p = 0.4). Both TNFR1 and TNFR2 were increased in blacks after LPS stimulation whereas no such changes were seen in whites compared to controls that were also significant between races. After LPS stimulation TNF-α bioavailability was increased in blacks with a drop in soluble receptors and with an increase in membrane receptors. This was not evident in whites because in whites soluble receptors were increased with no change in membrane receptors. Our data demonstrated that LPS stimulation results in a molar ratio switch favoring TNF-α biofunction in blacks, but not in whites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)946-950
Number of pages5
Issue number8-9
StatePublished - Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytokines
  • Disparity
  • Prematurity
  • Preterm labor
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Increased Bioavailability of TNF-α in African Americans During In Vitro Infection: Predisposing Evidence for Immune Imbalance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this