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.