We have previously reported that the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-1alpha can up-regulate functional Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) expression in primary-cultured murine hepatocytes, and bacterial lipopeptide (BLP) is capable of signaling through TLR2 to induce serum amyloid A (SAA) expression in hepatocytes. In the present study, we investigated the effect of the anti-inflammatory cytokine transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) on TLR2 expression in primary-cultured murine hepatocytes. At the mRNA and protein levels, TGF-beta up-regulated TLR2 expression but inhibited TLR2 expression induced by IL-1alpha at 24 h. BLP-induced SAA promoter activity could be augmented by pretreatment with IL-1alpha but not TGF-beta or the combination of TGF-beta and IL-1alpha. TLR2 promoter activity and nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB activation by IL-1alpha were inhibited by TGF-beta treatment. Pretreatment with TGF-beta strongly suppressed IL-1alpha-induced TLR2 promoter activity and NF-kappaB activation, which was consistent with the down-regulation of type I IL-1 receptor (IL-1RI) mRNA expression. IL-1alpha up-regulated IL-1RI mRNA, but it was inhibited by the treatment with TGF-beta. These results suggest that TGF-beta suppresses the induction of TLR2 expression by IL-1alpha through down-regulation of IL-1RI expression. These results also demonstrate the disparity between IL-1alpha and TGF-beta in regulating TLR2-mediated SAA production in hepatocytes.