In Salmonella typhimurium, the transcription of several virulence genes including spvB is regulated by the PhoP/PhoQ regulatory system. To further examine the relationship between the PhoP/PhoQ and Spv systems for virulence in mice, we examined a non-polar phoP mutation combined with different virulence plasmid genotypes for effects on virulence of S. typhimurium in the mouse model. PhoP-/Spv+ and PhoP-/Spv- mutants were not detectably recovered from the spleens of subcutaneously or orally inoculated mice. The phoP gene constitutively expressed from the lacZ promoter of a low copy number vector (phoP(C)) only partially complemented the non-polar phoP mutation for mouse-virulence in both the Spv+ and Spv- backgrounds; both PhoP(C) strains exhibited virulence equal only to a PhoP+/Spv- strain. Interestingly, in a PhoP+ background, the phoP(C) gene reduced splenic infection of the Spv+ but not Spv- salmonellae after subcutaneous or oral inoculation compared with the PhoP+ parents. Additionally, the phoP(C) gene in an Spv+ background reduced the net growth of salmonellae in macrophages in vitro; phoP(C) in an Spv- background was without effect. These data suggest that the constitutive expression of the phoP gene attenuates the virulence of S. typhimurium in mice in an Spv-dependent manner.