Tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha is known to be involved in anxiety and the regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. To examine the role of its receptors in neuroendocrine immunomodulation, we studied behaviour, corticosterone production and T-cell activation in mice with a C57BL/6J background and deficient for one or both TNF receptors (TNFR1-/-, TNFR2-/-, and TNFR1. +. 2-/-) compared to wildtype C57BL/6J mice with and without psychological stress. Stress was induced by social disruption (SDR), and anxiety-like behaviour was examined using the elevated plus maze (EPM). Anxiety of unstressed TNFR1. +. 2-/- mice was increased compared to C57BL/6J mice as shown by reduced ratios of entries into open arms relatively to total entries. SDR-stressed TNFR1. +. 2-/- mice showed reduced ratios of entries into open arms relatively to total entries, reduced ratios of distances walked in open relatively to distances walked in both arms and reduced time in open arms compared to C57BL/6J mice. Locomotor activity of unstressed and SDR-stressed TNFR1-/- and TNFR2-/- mice was reduced. Serum corticosterone concentrations of control mice do not differ between mouse strains. However, TNFR1. +. 2-/- mice had significantly higher corticosterone concentrations than C57BL/6J mice after SDR. EPM testing significantly increased corticosterone concentrations in all strains. Mitogen-induced activation-marker expression was reduced in TNFR1-/- T-helper cells under control and stress conditions, while activation marker expression of TNFR2-/- and TNFR1. +. 2-/- cells was only slightly affected by stress compared to C57BL/6J T cells. Our study suggests that both TNF receptors contribute to anxiety-like behaviour and corticosterone responses, whereas TNFR1 has a larger impact on T-cell activation.