A variety of sulfone derivatives including three dimethyl arylsulfonyl malonates (1-3), two bis-(arylethenesulfonyl)-vinyl benzenes (4 and 5) and a sulfone triazole (6) were evaluated for their anti-inflammatory as well as tumor cells growth inhibitory activities in vitro. The sulfone derivatives 1, 2, 3 and 6 significantly and dose-dependently inhibited the production of inflammatory mediators such as nitric oxide (NO), and cytokines (tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and interleukin (IL)-12), in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and interferon (IFN)-gamma activated murine peritoneal macrophages, without displaying cytotoxicity. The inhibitory mechanism is found through reducing iNOS protein expression. In addition, the derivatives 1-3 significantly arrest mitogen-stimulated spleen cells in G0/G1 stage, whereas compounds 4-6 blocked the same in the G2/M phase. Furthermore, the sulfone derivatives 3 and 6 showed dramatically reduction in the ratio of IFN-gamma to IL-4 production from mitogen-stimulated spleen cells. On the other hand, the novel compounds exhibited interesting cytotoxic activities against a panel of cell lines, particularly, 20 muM of compound 3 showed 50% cytotoxic effect on human hepatoma cell line, but has no effect on normal human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. In conclusion, compound 3 showed interesting anti-inflammatory and tumor cells growth inhibitory functions.