Targeting Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha to Mitigate Lung Injury Induced by Mustard Vesicants and Radiation

Rama Malaviya, Jeffrey D. Laskin, Rita Businaro, Debra L. Laskin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Pulmonary injury induced by mustard vesicants and radiation is characterized by DNA damage, oxidative stress, and inflammation. This is associated with increases in levels of inflammatory mediators, including tumor necrosis factor (TNF)α in the lung and upregulation of its receptor TNFR1. Dysregulated production of TNFα and TNFα signaling has been implicated in lung injury, oxidative and nitrosative stress, apoptosis, and necrosis, which contribute to tissue damage, chronic inflammation, airway hyperresponsiveness, and tissue remodeling. These findings suggest that targeting production of TNFα or TNFα activity may represent an efficacious approach to mitigating lung toxicity induced by both mustards and radiation. This review summarizes current knowledge on the role of TNFα in pathologies associated with exposure to mustard vesicants and radiation, with a focus on the therapeutic potential of TNFα-targeting agents in reducing acute injury and chronic disease pathogenesis.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere553
JournalDisaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 18 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


  • lung injury
  • mustard vesicants
  • radiation
  • tumor necrosis factor

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