Given the importance of interleukin-1 in both rheumatic diseases and the modulation of cell metabolic activities, we studied the action of this cytokine on the neutral amino acid transport A system on rheumatoid synovial cells. In these cells IL-1 (1ng/ml) induced amino transport stimulation from 5min to 5h. This effect was obtained only after a starvation period. No concentration-related effect was found for IL-1-stimulated MeAIB uptake, and the IL-1-mediated MeAIB uptake stimulation is independent of protein synthesis. Neosynthesis or post-translational maturation of protein transport is a prerequisite for obtaining this effect. In conclusion, rheumatoid synovial cells exhibit a higher sensitivity for IL-1 than osteoarthritic ones, probably related to their intense metabolic activity.