Abstract Cytokine induced levels of ICAM-1 expressed by rat brain-endothelial cells were quantitated by enzyme immunoassay in response to stimulation by TNF-α in the presence or absence of IFN-γ. The rat strains investigated differ in their susceptibility to experimental allergic encephalomyelitis; significantly less ICAM-1 was induced by BEC derived from the resistant PVG strain as compared to the susceptible LEW strain with both cytokine combinations. In contrast, despite the difference in disease susceptibility, equivalent levels of ICAM-1 were induced between the LEW and BN strain. Furthermore, evidence for a synergistic interaction of both TNF-α and IFN-γ was observed in the BN strain. The results are discussed with relevance to the disease profile of each strain.