The formation of hepatic granulomas around persistently deposited Schistosoma mansoni eggs leads to parenchymal damage, ongoing fibrosis, and ultimate loss of liver function. In this study, the production of macrophage inflammatory protein-1 alpha (MIP-1) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) by granuloma fibroblasts was examined to establish the potential contribution of intragranuloma fibroblasts to the maintenance of the chronic inflammation. Isolated fibroblasts from dispersed acute infection hepatic granulomas were grown in tissue culture for 3 to 4 weeks and used on the third or fourth passage. We initially surveyed fibroblasts for production of MIP-1 and MCP-1 by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) after stimulation with interleukin (IL)-1, tumor necrosis factor, interferon (IFN)-gamma, IL-4, or IL-10: cytokines found within the granuloma. These studies demonstrated constitutive expression of MCP-1 and differential up-regulation of MIP-1 on cytokine stimulation. Protein expression was then verified by immunohistochemical localization of MIP-1 and MCP-1 in paraformaldehyde-fixed fibroblasts and by direct quantitation of MIP-1 and MCP-1 in culture supernatants by specific ELISAs. These studies demonstrated constitutive expression of MCP-1 in unstimulated and cytokine-stimulated granuloma fibroblasts. In contrast, IL-1 (0.1 to 2.5 ng/ml), IFN-gamma (10 micrograms/ml), and IL-10 (2.5 to 10 ng/ml) were able to induce the significant production of MIP-1 by the granuloma fibroblasts. Interestingly, normal noninflammatory fibroblasts from uninfected mice showed no significant production of MIP-1 or MCP-1 in response to these cytokines. These results suggest that granuloma fibroblasts may be phenotypically altered compared with normal fibroblasts and have a significant role in leukocyte recruitment, granuloma growth, and maintenance of the egg-induced lesion.