E3330 [(2E)-3-[5-(2,3-dimethoxy-6-methyl-1,4-benzoquinoyl)]-2-nonyl-2- propenoic acid], a novel synthesized hepatoprotective compound, has suppressive effects on tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) generation from monocytes/macrophages in vitro. E3330 (1-100 microM) reduced lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 10 mg/ml or 1 microgram/ml)-induced TNF-alpha generation from rat resident and Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes)-elicited peritoneal macrophages, rat and human monocytes, rat Kupffer cells, and splenic mononuclear cells in a concentration-dependent manner. E3330 also (1-100 microM) suppressed TNF-alpha generation stimulated with egg-albumin immune complex in rat P. acnes-elicited peritoneal macrophages. Northern blot analysis showed that LPS-induced expression of TNF-alpha messenger RNA (mRNA) in human blood monocytes was suppressed by E3330. These findings indicate that E3330 has a suppressive effect on TNF-alpha generation from monocytes/macrophages, regardless of origin or species, and this effect is based in part on the suppression of TNF-alpha mRNA expression.