Lymphotoxin alpha, a member of the tumor necrosis factor family, is a cytokine produced by lymphocytes. LTA is highly inducible, secreted, and exists as homotrimeric molecule. LTA forms heterotrimers with lymphotoxin-beta, which anchors lymphotoxin-alpha to the cell surface. LTA mediates a large variety of inflammatory, immunostimulatory, and antiviral responses. LTA is also involved in the formation of secondary lymphoid organs during development and plays a role in apoptosis.
In LTα knockout mice, all Peyer's patches and lymph nodes will fail to develop indicating LTα's importance in immunological development.
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