Recently, several novel members of the IL-1 family have been identified. The possible therapeutic utility and the underlying biologic role of these new members remain unclear. In the present study we analyzed the anti-tumor activity of human IL-1 homologue 4(IL-1H4; renamed IL-F7) by adenovirus-mediated gene transfer (AdIL-1H4) directly into murine tumors. In vitro expression analysis showed that IL-1H4 was a secretory protein. Treatment of an established MCA205 mouse fibrosarcoma by single intratumoral injection of AdIL-1H4 resulted in significant growth suppression. Furthermore, complete inhibition of tumor growth was observed following multiple injections of AdIL-1H4. The anti-tumor activity of IL-1H4 was abrogated in nude and SCID mice and in IL-12-, IFN-gamma-, or Fas ligand-deficient mice. In contrast, IL-1H4 was able to confer substantial anti-tumor effects in NKT-deficient mice. These results suggest that IL-1H4 could play an important role in the link between innate and adaptive immunity and may be useful for tumor immunotherapy.