Background Knowledge of the cytokine response at infection with Brachyspira hyodysenteriae can help understanding disease mechanisme involved during swine dysentery. Since this knowledge is still limited the aim of the present study was to induce dysentery experimentally in pigs and to monitor the development of important immunoregulatory cytokines in blood collected at various stages of the disease. Methods Ten conventional pigs (~23 kg) were orally inoculated with Brachyspira hyodysenteriae B204T. Eight animals developed muco-haemorrhagic diarrhoea with impaired general body condition. Blood was sampled before inoculation and repeatedly during acute dysentery and recovery periods and cytokine levels of IL-1β, IL-6, Il-10, TNF-α and IFN-γ were measured by ELISA. Results IL-1β was increased at the beginning of the dysentery period and coincided with the appearance of Serum amyloid A and clinical signs of disease. TNF-α increased in all animals after inoculation, with a peak during dysentery, and IL-6 was found in 3 animals during dysentery and in the 2 animals that did not develop clinical signs of disease. IL-10 was found in all sick animals during the recovery period. IFN-γ was not detected on any occasion. Conclusion B. hyodysenteriae inoculation induced production of systemic levels of IL-1β during the dysentery period and increased levels of IL-10 coincided with recovery from dysentery.