Cells are sensitized to the cytolytic effect of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) by simultaneous application of inhibitors of RNA or protein synthesis. Treating cells, in the absence of such inhibitors, with cytokine preparations produced by stimulated mononuclear leukocytes may render them resistant to the cytolytic effect of TNF + the inhibitors. One of the cytokines which induces that resistance was identified as TNF itself (17). As shown in the present study, similar resistance against TNF-mediated killing can be effectively induced also with preparations of cytokines which are depleted of TNF. Fractionation of such TNF-free preparations revealed that their resistance-inducing activity is mediated by interleukin 1 (IL 1). In part of the cell lines in which IL 1 induced resistance to TNF killing, when applied without inhibitors of protein/RNA synthesis, it was found to exert cytolytic effect in the presence of such inhibitors, however, less effectively than TNF. Both TNF and IL 1 thus appear to activate in cells cytolytic mechanisms as well as antagonizing mechanisms which can protect cells from cytolysis.