Chemokines direct the recruitment of leukocytes to inflammatory sites and may also participate in the regulation of cytokine production by naive T helper cells. Chemokine production by blood monocytes was investigated by intracytoplasmic staining in interferon-beta (IFN-beta)-treated multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, untreated MS patients, and healthy controls. Under unstimulated conditions, no differences in the production of interleukin-8 (IL-8), IFN-inducible protein 10 (IP-10), monokine induced by interferon-gamma (Mig), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and monocyte chemoattractant protein-3 (MCP-3) were seen between untreated MS patients and controls. Chemokine production by monocytes following T cell activation was decreased in MS patients taking IFN-beta compared to controls and untreated MS patients. Unlike other chemokines, macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha (MIP-1alpha) production by monocytes was significantly decreased in untreated MS patients compared to controls, and IFN-beta treatment increased MIP-1alpha expression to the level seen in controls. In vitro addition of IFN-beta1b to peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) cultures tended to decrease the production of IL-8, IP-10, Mig, MCP-1, and MCP-3, but not of MIP-1alpha. These findings suggest that IFN-beta treatment may have a differential affect on chemokine production by monocytes. Longitudinal studies must be done to confirm these observations.