Interleukin 1 (IL-1) possesses multiple biological activities that may be blocked selectively by different inhibitors. Some known inhibitors block the lymphocyte activating factor (LAF/IL-1) but not the mononuclear cell factor (MCF/IL-1) measured by its capacity to stimulate prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and collagenase production. The presence of IL-1 in vivo may be difficult to detect due to the presence of inhibitor(s) and the level of the inhibitor(s) may vary depending upon pathological conditions. We have found that urine from three patients with monocytic leukemia (M5) contained high levels of inhibitor(s) of MCF/IL-1, whereas urine of normal subjects did not contain significant amounts. Urine from two patients with other blood neoplasic diseases also contained little inhibitory activity. The MCF/IL-1 inhibitor(s), which also acts on human recombinant IL-1 beta, is approximately 25-35 kD, is not retained on concanavalin A-Sepharose column and can be partially destroyed with urea and boiling. At this stage of the purification the fraction containing the MCF/IL-1 inhibitor(s) also inhibits the LAF/IL-1 assay. However, this inhibitor(s) is probably distinct from other inhibitors already described.