Extracellular nucleotides regulate macrophage function via P2X nucleotide receptors that form ligand-gated ion channels. In particular, P2X7 activation is characterized by pore formation, membrane blebbing, and cytokine release. P2X7 is also linked to mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) and Rho-dependent pathways, which are known to affect cytoskeletal structure in other systems. As cytoskeletal function is critical for macrophage behavior, we have tested the importance of these pathways in actin filament reorganization during P2X7 stimulation in RAW 264.7 macrophages. We observed that the P2X7 agonists adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) and 3'-O-(4-benzoylbenzoyl) ATP (BzATP) stimulated actin reorganization and concomitant membrane blebbing within 5 min. Disruption of actin filaments with cytochalasin D attenuated membrane blebbing but not P2X7-dependent pore formation or extracellular-regulated kinase (ERK)1/ERK2 and p38 activation, suggesting that these latter processes do not require intact actin filaments. However, we provide evidence that p38 MAPK and Rho activation but not ERK1/ERK2 activation is important for P2X7-mediated actin reorganization and membrane blebbing. First, activation of p38 and Rho was detected within 5 min of BzATP treatment, which is coincident with membrane blebbing. Second, the p38 inhibitors SB202190 and SB203580 reduced nucleotide-induced blebbing and actin reorganization, whereas the MAPK kinase-1/2 inhibitor U0126, which blocks ERK1/ERK2 activation, had no discernable effect. Third, the Rho-selective inhibitor C3 exoenzyme and the Rho effector kinase, Rho-associated coiled-coil kinase, inhibitor Y-27632, markedly attenuated BzATP-stimulated actin reorganization and membrane blebbing. These data support a model wherein p38- and Rho-dependent pathways are critical for P2X7-dependent actin reorganization and membrane blebbing, thereby facilitating P2X7 involvement in macrophage inflammatory responses.