The current studies demonstrate that MOPC-315 tumor cells secrete large amounts of interleukin-10 (IL-10), which contributes to the inhibitory activity of MOPC-315 culture supernatants for the in vitro generation of antitumor cytotoxicity by MOPC-315-"immune" spleen cells. Moreover, addition of neutralizing monoclonal anti-IL-10 antibody to the in vitro stimulation cultures of cells from the tumor infiltrated spleens of mice bearing a large MOPC-315 tumor resulted in the generation of enhanced anti-MOPC-315 cytotoxicity. In contrast, addition of monoclonal anti-IL-10 antibody to the in vitro stimulation cultures of splenic cells from mice that are in the final stages of immune-mediated tumor eradication as a consequence of low-dose melphalan (L-phenylalanine mustard; L-PAM) therapy (and whose spleens no longer contain metastatic tumor cells) did not lead to enhancement in the in vitro generation of antitumor cytotoxicity. The cessation of IL-10 secretion as a consequence of low-dose L-PAM therapy of MOPC-315 tumor bearers was found to be accompanied by the acquisition of the ability to secrete interferon gamma (IFN gamma) by the splenic cells. In addition, by day 2 after low-dose L-PAM therapy a drastic decrease in the amount of IL-10 secreted by the s.c. tumor nodules was noted, which preceded the accumulation of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes capable of secreting IFN gamma. Thus, low-dose L-PAM therapy of mice bearing a large MOPC-315 tumor leads to a shift in cytokine production from a Th2-type cytokine to a Th1-type cytokine, and it is conceivable that this shift in cytokine production plays an important role in the low-dose L-PAM-induced acquisition of antitumor immunity by hitherto immunosuppressed mice bearing a large MOPC-315 tumor.