An experimental model was used to investigate mRNA cytokine profiles in bronchoalvolar cells (BALC) from piglets, infected in utero with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV). The BALC's were analyzed for the cytokines TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma, IL-8, IL-10, and IL-12(p40) by real-time TaqMan polymerase chain reaction in 2-, 4-, and 6-week-old piglets, respectively. High levels of IFN-gamma mRNA was detected in all piglets, while IL-10 was upregulated in 2-week-old piglets, was at normal levels in 4-week-old piglets, and elevated again in 6-week-old piglets. IL-12 was weakly elevated in all three age groups. Virus was reduced by 50% in 4-week-old piglets and cleared by 6 weeks of age. The sustained expression of IFNgamma and reduction of IL-10 production indicate an important role for these cytokines in immunity to PRRSV.