Suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) was performed to construct a Rainbow trout cDNA library enriched in sequences up-regulated in head kidney leukocytes after lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) stimulation. Random sequencing of fifty clones allowed the identification of a Rainbow trout interleukin 8 (IL-8)-related CXC chemokine, as well as the Rainbow trout tissue factor (TF) precursor. Expression of both the IL-8-like chemokine and TF is induced after LPS and TNFa stimulation, indicating that they are associated with inflammatory responses in fish, as has been suggested in mammals. These results confirm the potential of SSH to identify cytokines and immuno-regulatory genes in fish. (C) 2002 Elesvier Science Ltd.