Pycnogenol is a commercial mixture of bioflavonoids that exhibits antioxidative activity. The effects of dietary pycnogenol on immune dysfunction in normal mice as well as those fed ethanol or infected with the LP-BM5 murine retrovirus were determined. The ethanol consumption and retrovirus infection caused abnormalities in the function and/or structure of a broad array of cells involved in humoral and cellular immunity. Pycnogenol enhanced in vitro IL-2 production by mitogen-stimulated splenocytes if its production was suppressed in ethanol-fed or retrovirus-infected mice. Mitogenesis of splenocytes did not show a significant change in mice treated with pycnogenol. It reduced the elevated levels of interleukin-6 produced in vitro by cells from retrovirus infected mice and IL-10 secreted by spleen cells from mice consuming ethanol. Natural killer cell cytotoxicity was increased with pycnogenol treatment.