The aim of this study was to determine whether Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans lipopolysaccharide (LPS-A. actinomycetemcomitans) could stimulate a murine macrophage cell line (RAW264.7 cells) to produce nitric oxide (NO). The cells were treated with LPS-A. actinomycetemcomitans or Escherichia coli LPS (LPS-Ec) for 24 h. The effects of N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine (NMMA), polymyxin B and cytokines (IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, IL-4 and IL-12) on the production of NO were also determined. The role of protein tyrosine kinase, protein kinase C and microtubulin organization on NO production were assessed by incubating RAW264.7 cells with genistein, bisindolylmaleide and colchicine prior to LPS-A. actinomycetemcomitans stimulation, respectively. NO levels from the culture supernatants were determined by the Griess reaction. The results showed that LPS-A. actinomycetemcomitans stimulated NO production by RAW264.7 cells in a dose-dependent manner, but was slightly less potent than LPS-Ec. NMMA and polymyxin B blocked the production of NO. IFN-gamma and IL-12 potentiated but IL-4 depressed NO production by LPS-A. actinomycetemcomitans-stimulated RAW264.7 cells. TNF-alpha had no effects on NO production. Genistein and bisindolylmalemaide, but not colchicine, reduced the production of NO in a dose-dependent mechanism. The results of the present study suggest that A. actinomycetemcomitans LPS, via the activation of protein tyrosine kinase and protein kinase C and the regulatory control of cytokines, stimulates NO production by murine macrophages.