Tumour necrosis factor (TNF) is a potent inflammatory cytokine that appears to exacerbate damage of dystrophic muscle in vivo. The monoclonal murine specific antibody cV1q that specifically neutralises murine TNF demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory effects in dystrophic mdx mice. cV1q administration protected dystrophic skeletal myofibres against necrosis in both young and adult mdx mice and in adult mdx mice subjected to 48 h voluntary wheel exercise. Long-term studies (up to 90 days) in voluntarily exercised mdx mice showed beneficial effects of cV1q treatment with reduced histological evidence of myofibre damage and a striking decrease in serum creatine kinase levels. However, in the absence of exercise long-term cV1q treatment did not reduce necrosis or background pathology in mdx mice. An additional measure of well-being in the cV1q treated mice was that they ran significantly more than control mdx mice.