(-) Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) potently stimulated the production of interleukin-1 (IL-1) and tumor necrosis factor by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The intracellular amounts of IL-1 beta and especially IL-1 alpha induced by EGCg, were significantly higher than their extracellular counterparts. ECCg stimulated the production of adherent cells, with IL-1 producing capacity (per cell basis) that was significantly higher than nonadherent cells. Although IL-1 alpha mRNA synthesis (assessed by Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction) was slightly enhanced, IL-1 beta mRNA synthesis was not significantly enhanced by EGCg treatment. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) also stimulated the production of IL-1 alpha and IL-1 beta production, but failed to induce the adherent cells. These data suggest that EGCg and LPS stimulate mononuclear cells by different mechanisms.