We have previously shown that tobacco glycoprotein (TGP), a polyphenol-rich glycoprotein isolated from tobacco or from cigarette smoke, affects the immune system. In this study we show that TGP induces human PBL and adherent cells to produce IL-1 alpha and IL-1 beta. Two peaks of IL-1 activity were observed; one at 18-24 h, the second at 4-6 d after initiation of culture. A similar pattern was observed for the steady state level of IL-1 mRNA. These data suggest that the production of IL-1 by cells stimulated with TGP might be a factor in cardiovascular disease associated with cigarette smoking.