The infiltration of eosinophils into tissues during pathologic responses is often associated with extracellular matrix alterations such as fibrosis. Transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta 1) is a well-characterized multifunctional cytokine known to exert potent effects on the extracellular matrix. In this report, we showed the production of TGF-beta 1 by human eosinophils from patients with blood eosinophilia. Northern blot analysis using RNA isolated from eosinophils purified from a patient with the idiopathic hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES) detected the 2.5-kb TGF-beta 1 transcript. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry of leukocytes from two patients with HES and two patients with blood eosinophilia localized TGF-beta 1 messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein to eosinophils. No other cell type contained TGF-beta 1 mRNA by in situ hybridization, whereas other leukocytes contained detectable TGF-beta 1 protein by immunohistochemistry. Eosinophils from four normal donors contained little or no detectable TGF-beta 1 protein by immunohistochemistry, whereas eosinophils from two of these four normal donors labeled weakly for TGF-beta 1 mRNA by in situ hybridization. These results show that eosinophils in the peripheral blood of patients with blood eosinophilia can express TGF-beta 1, but that eosinophils in the blood of normal donors contained little or no TGF-beta 1.