Many cancers express an array of chemokines which have the capacity to modulate the nature and function of intratumoural leukocyte infiltrates. In malignant mesothelioma (MM) neither the chemokine signalling networks nor their regulation have been investigated despite the prominence of leucocytic infiltrates in both clinical and experimental tumours. In this study, we examined constitutive and cytokine-regulated expression of CC and CXC chemokine genes in mesothelioma and mesothelial cell cultures derived from two different mouse strains (BALB/C and CBA/CaH). In mouse MM and mesothelial cells MCP-1/JE, GRO-α/KC and RANTES were expressed whereas MIP-1α and MIP-2 were infrequently expressed. Comparison of basal chemokine expression showed that GRO-α/KC mRNA was overexpressed in the malignant cells whereas MCP-1 gene expression and release was downregulated. Treatment of mesothelioma cells with IL-4, IFN-γ or TNF-α revealed that chemokine genes could be more responsive to cytokines in the malignant compared to their mesothelial cells. TNF-α was consistently the most potent positive regulator of both CC and CXC chemokine expression and MCP-1 release. The present study for the first time provides a mechanistic insight into the differential regulation of chemokine expression in malignant mesothelioma cells and has implications for mesothelial chemokine signalling in mouse models.