Abstract The c-fos transcriptional factor forms an activator protein-1 (AP-1) complex with proteins from the Jun family, which plays an important role in the central nervous system. The responses of AP-1 transcriptional factors induced by kainic acid (KA) treatment have been well studied, although the transcriptional regulation of these KA-induced factors has not been clearly characterized. To investigate the role of different stimuli in controlling of the splicing of c-fos mRNA, we performed reverse transcriptional polymerase chain reaction. The results showed that spliced and unspliced c-fos is present in rat brain following KA treatment and in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated primary mouse cortical brain cell cultures. Furthermore, tyrosine kinase and protein phosphatase inhibitors alter the preponderance of c-fos transcripts following LPS treatment.