In this study we have investigated the effects of interleukin 10 (IL-10) on human peripheral blood eosinophils stimulated with granulocyte/macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS). We show that LPS was able to enhance eosinophil survival in a dose-dependent manner, as well as release of the cytokines GM-CSF, tumor necrosis factor alpha, and IL-8. LPS-induced eosinophil survival was largely inhibited by an anti-GM-CSF neutralizing antibody and completely blocked by polymyxin B, suggesting GM-CSF involvement in the survival enhancing mechanism and LPS specificity, respectively. IL-10 significantly inhibited survival of, and cytokine production from, eosinophils induced by LPS, but did not inhibit the survival induced by GM-CSF. These observations suggest a novel activation mechanism of eosinophils and, also, that IL-10 may participate in the regulation of diseases characterized by eosinophil infiltration.