Abstract The effect of nitric oxide (NO) on LPS-stimulated TNF-α synthesis has been studied in vitro and in vivo. The synthesis of TNF-α in J774 macrophages stimulated with LPS (0.l μg/ml) was increased in concentration-related fashion by NO synthase inhibitor L-NMMA (3-30-300 μM) and reduced by either L-arginine (3-30-300 μM) or the NO donor SIN-1 (1-10-1OOμM). The level of TNF-α in the serum of LPS-challenged rats (6mg/kg/i.p.) was increased in animals pre-treated s.c. with L-NMMA (10 and 50mg/kg) and reduced in those given L- arginine (100 and 300mg/kg). These results show a negative feedback mechanism exhibited by NO on TNF-α synthesis suggesting an important regulatory link between NO and TNF-α in pathological processes.