Src family kinases (SFKs) are non-receptor tyrosine kinases that have been implicated as regulators of the inflammatory response. In this study, the role of SFK activation in the inflammatory response of macrophages to encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) infection was examined. Virus infection of macrophages stimulates the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), interleukin (IL)-1 and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). Inhibition of SFK attenuates EMCV-induced COX-2 expression and prostaglandin E production, iNOS expression and subsequent nitric oxide production, and IL-1 expression. EMCV-induced COX-2 expression requires the activation of nuclear factor-B and the mitogen-activated protein kinase p38. Consistent with these previous findings, inhibition of SFKs attenuated the phosphorylation of p38 in response to EMCV infection, suggesting that SFKs may act upstream of p38. These findings provide evidence that SFK activation plays an active role in the regulation of inflammatory gene expression by virus-infected macrophages.


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