The new thiosemicarbazones and thiocarbonohydrazones derived from 2-(1-adamantylcarbonyl)pyridine and 1-acetyladamantane were synthesized and evaluated for their inhibitory effect on tumor cell proliferation and their antiviral and antimicrobial activity. Thiosemicarbazone inhibited tumor cell proliferation (GI50's range: 2.4-100 microM and mean GI50 43.9 microM against various human leukemic cell lines) while thiosemicarbazone and thiocarbonohydrazone 5d exhibited significant inhibition of tumor cell proliferation (GI50's range 2.3-23.6 microM and mean GI50 7.2 microM for and GI50's range 2.4-32.4 microM and mean GI50 12.8microM for ). These GI50 values are comparable to that of 2-acetylpyridine thiosemicarbazone an important lead in TSC's family. The compounds did not afford specific activity against any of the viruses tested when examined at non-toxic concentrations. A weak activity was found for thiocarbonohydrazones against Gram-(+) bacteria (MIC(50) 117.3 and 133 microM, respectively). Using a combination of molecular mechanics calculations and NOE spectroscopy it was shown that the parent compounds and have opposite configuration around C=N bond. Whether this difference in structure can be correlated with the biological activity will be investigated in future studies.