We demonstrated that in vivo administration of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol in mice (15 mg/kg s.c.) significantly inhibited natural killer cell (NK) cytolytic activity without affecting Concanavalin A (ConA)-induced splenocyte proliferation. Moreover, we investigated the effect of in vivo pretreatment with cannabinoid receptor antagonists, namely, the selective cannabinoid CB(1) receptor antagonist SR 141716 [N-piperidin-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2, 4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-3-pyrazolecarboxamide] and the selective cannabinoid CB(2) receptor antagonist SR 144528 ¿N-[(1S)-endo-1,3, 3-trimethyl bicyclo [2.2.1] heptan-2-yl]-5-(4-chloro-3-methylphenyl)-1-(4-methylbenzyl)-pyrazo le- 3-carboxamide¿, on Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol-induced inhibition of NK cytolytic activity. Both antagonists partially reversed the Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol inhibition of NK cytolytic activity, although the cannabinoid CB(1) receptor antagonist was more effective than the cannabinoid CB(2) receptor antagonist. The parallel measurement of interferon gamma and interleukin 2 levels revealed that Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol significantly reduced (about 70%) the former cytokine without affecting the latter. Cannabinoid CB(1) and CB(2) receptor antagonists completely reversed the interferon gamma reduction induced by Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol. Our results indicate that both types of cannabinoid receptors are involved in the complex network mediating NK cytolytic activity.