Résumé : The production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) by lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated macrophages can be markedly inhibited by the two closely related cytokines, interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13. To investigate the molecular mechanism of this inhibition, we analyzed the effect of the two cytokines on TNF-alpha production and TNF-alpha mRNA accumulation in the mouse macrophage cell lines RAW 264.7 and J774 stimulated by LPS. Whereas LPS-induced TNF-alpha production is strongly suppressed by both cytokines, TNF-alpha mRNA accumulation is not significantly affected, indicating that IL-4 and IL-13 induce a translational repression of TNF-alpha mRNA. Transfection of reporter gene constructs containing different regions of the TNF-alpha gene revealed that the inhibitory action of IL-4 and IL-13 is mediated by the UA-rich sequence present in the TNF-alpha mRNA 3'-untranslated region.