Chondrocytes and synoviocytes harvested from the joints of healthy horses were maintained in tissue culture. Production of the cytokines interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and the effects of addition of carprofen (racemate and R and S enantiomers) were determined. Lipopolysaccharide failed to stimulate TNF-α activity in both cell types but concentrations of IL-1 and IL-6 were both increased in a concentration and time-related manner. Both carprofen enantiomers and the racemic mixture attenuated the increase in IL-6 induced by LPS in synoviocytes, and S carprofen exerted a similar effect on chondrocytes. Neither enantiomer nor the racemate of carprofen suppressed the increase in IL-1 release produced by LPS in chondrocytes and synoviocytes. An action of carprofen to suppress IL-6 release might contribute to the actions which occur in vivo.