Current knowledge implicates pleural mesothelial cells as mainly responsible for inflammatory responses in the pleural space. However, a vast body of recent evidence underscores the important role of fibroblasts in the process of inflammation in several types of tissues. We hypothesize that HPFBs (human pleural fibroblasts) play an important role in pleural responses and also when activated by bacterial endotoxin LPS (lipopolysaccharide), IL-1 β (interleukin-1 β), or TNF-α (tumor necrosis factor-α) release of C-C and C-X-C chemokines - specifically, MCP-1 and IL-8. Our results show that pleural fluid-isolated human fibroblasts release IL-8 and MCP-1 upon stimulation with IL-1 β, TNF-α, and LPS in both a concentration- and time-dependent manner. RT-PCR (reverse-transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction) studies have also confirmed IL-8- and MCP-1-specific mRNA expression in activated pleural fibroblasts. On the time-dependent response curve, IL-8 was found in maximum concentrations at 144 hr, whereas MCP-1 continued to increase even after 196 hr following stimulation. IL-1 β induced the maximum release of IL-8 (800-fold) and MCP-1 (164-fold), as compared to the controls. TNF-α induced a 95-fold increase in IL-8 and an 84-fold increase in MCP-1 levels, as compared to the controls. Collectively, our results show that human pleural fibroblasts contribute to the inflammatory cascade in the pleural space.