1. Cytokine production in vitro was assessed in 16 malnourished children, before and after nutritional recovery.

2. Tumour necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6 were measured in whole blood after lipopolysaccharide stimulation.

3. The total amount of both cytokines was significantly less after 24 h incubation among malnourished children when compared with the same children after nutritional rehabilitation.

4. Cytokine production in vitro is impaired in severely malnourished children.

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