Facteur thymique serique (FTS), a thymic hormone with nonapeptide is involved in T cell differentiation in intestine. Here we investigated the effect of FTS on dextran sulphate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis. BALB/c mice were subcutaneously treated with 1 mug/mouse/day of FTS daily. FTS did not affect the course of acute colitis induced by DSS as assessed by survival rate, clinical activity of diseases, extent of tissue damage of colons. On the other hand, FTS significantly ameliorated chronic colitis induced by multiple cycles of DSS as reflected by lower lethality, weight loss, clinical scores and histological scores. The levels of interferon (IFN)-gamma, interleukin 1(IL-1)-beta, and IL-12p40 in the culture supernatants of lamina propria (LP) cells of colon without any stimulation and IFN-gamma by T cells in the LP T cells under T cell receptor (TCR) triggering were reduced in FTS-treated mice, whereas the levels of IL-10 by LP cells and LPT cells were higher in FTS-treated mice. Thus, FTS may serve to suppress inflammation in DSS-induced chronic colitis accompanied by increased IL-10 production.