To date, there have been no investigations of the behavioral effects of interleukin-1 (IL-1) in nonhuman primates. In this study the locomotor behavior and vocalizations of juvenile rhesus monkeys were monitored for 45 minutes following intravenous injections of recombinant human IL-1 alpha. In addition, their reaction to a broadcasted recording of infant monkey distress calls was determined 20 minutes after the beginning of each test session. IL-1 induced sleep-like inactivity and significantly diminished the monkey's behavioral and vocal responses to the broadcasted calls. The coo calls uttered by the monkeys following IL-1 treatment also had a longer duration and lower fundamental frequency than calls during the control condition. As several studies have indicated that behavioral effects of IL-1 may be mediated by corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), a second group of rhesus monkeys was given injections of CRH. CRH did not alter behavior or call structure at the dose administered. These results extend previous research on the behavioral effects of IL-1 to include the nonhuman primate and provide the first evidence that cytokines can affect vocal communication in rhesus monkeys. © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc.