Isolated intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL) and lamina propria lymphocytes (LPL) from jejunum of SIV infected animals were examined for alterations in basal cytokine expression by RT-PCR. Remarkable changes in IFNgamma and IL-10 RNA levels were observed in IEL and LPL in SIV infection while IL-4 and IL-2 RNA levels remained unaltered. In addition, the CD4+ and CD8+ LPL were examined for intracellular cytokine production following mitogenic activation by flowcytometry. Both CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes in intestinal mucosa retained the potential to produce IFNgamma in response to mitogenic stimulation in vitro, without a remarkable change in IL-4 production. The dominant IFNgamma cytokine response could be one of the major contributing factors in SIV associated enteropathy.