The in vitro cytotoxicity of recombinant human tumor necrosis factor-alpha (rh-TNF-alpha) and actinomycin D (ACT-D) on canine normal and tumor cells was investigated. rh-TNF-alpha showed dose-dependent cytotoxic and cell-growth inhibitory effects on cultured canine kidney carcinoma cells (CKCa-1). rh-TNF-alpha alone produced little cytotoxic effect on canine normal cells. However, combined with ACT-D, it showed moderate cytotoxicity on normal canine cells from the kidney medulla, spleen, heart muscle and lung. When the effects on the spontaneous tumor cells were examined, the combination of rh-TNF-alpha and ACT-D produced substantial cytotoxic effect on 60% of the tumor cells. All mammary mixed tumors and perianal gland tumors tested were susceptible to this combination. The data indicated the combination of rh-TNF-alpha and ACT-D have in vitro cytotoxicity on certain canine tumor cells.