Types IIA and V secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) are structurally related to each other and their genes are tightly linked to the same chromosome locus. An emerging body of evidence suggests that sPLA2-IIA plays an augmentative role in long-term prostaglandin (PG) generation in cells activated by proinflammatory stimuli; however, the mechanism underlying the functional regulation of sPLA2-V remains largely unknown. Here we show that sPLA2-V is more widely expressed than sPLA2-IIA in the mouse, in which its expression is elevated by proinflammatory stimuli such as lipopolysaccharide. In contrast, proinflammatory stimuli induced sPLA2-IIA in marked preference to sPLA2-V in the rat. Cotransfection of sPLA2-V with cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, but not with COX-1, into human embryonic kidney 293 cells dramatically increased the interleukin-1-dependent PGE2 generation occurring over a 24 h of culture period. Rat mastocytoma RBL-2H3 cells overexpressing sPLA2-V exhibited increased IgE-dependent PGD2 generation and accelerated beta-hexosaminidase exocytosis. These results suggest that sPLA2-V acts as a regulator of inflammation-associated cellular responses. This possible compensation of sPLA2-V for sPLA2-IIA in many, if not all, tissues may also explain why some mouse strains with natural disruption of the sPLA2-IIA gene exhibit few abnormalities during their life-spans.