The role of eosinophils in inflammation and their mode of activation is not well understood. Eosinophil accumulation and subsequent expression of cytokines at the site of inflammation may play a role in exacerbation of inflammatory responses. In the present study, we have examined the role of TNF-α in eosinophil activation and chemokine production using a human leukaemic eosinophil cell line, EOL-1. Initial studies demonstrated that TNF-α induced the upregulation of IL-8 and MCP-1 mRNA and protein. Kinetic studies indicated production of chemokines, IL-8 and MCP-1, as early as 4 h post-activation, with peak levels of chemokine produced at 8 h, and decreasing by 24 h post-TNF-α activation. When IL-10, a suppressive cytokine, was incubated with TNF-α and EOL-1 cells, no effect was observed on IL-8 and MCP-1 production. However, dexamethasone, a glucocorticoid, demonstrated potent inhibitory effects on the EOL-1-derived chemokines. These studies indicate that eosinophils may be a significant source of chemokines capable of participating in, and maintaining, leukocyte recruitment during inflammatory responses, such as asthma.