Although vitamin B6 has been supposed to have anti-inflammatory effects, the molecular mechanism is not fully understood. To explore the mechanism of anti-inflammatory effects of vitamin B6, we have examined the effect of vitamin B6 on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated inflammatory response in RAW 264.7 macrophages. This study demonstrated that vitamin B6 (pyridoxal) pretreatment of RAW cells inhibited LPS-induced expression of iNOS and COX-2 at the mRNA and protein levels. Vitamin B6 inhibited LPS-induced nuclear translocation of the NF-kappaB, the proinflammatory transcription factor, with reduction of the extent of LPS-induced IkappaBalpha degradation in RAW cells. Although vitamin B6 did not affect cellular proteasome activity, in vitro phosphorylation analysis with glutathione S-transferase-fused IkappaBalpha has shown that vitamin B6 suppressed LPS-induced IkappaB kinase activation. Furthermore, we demonstrated that elevating dietary vitamin B6 suppressed NO production in vivo in response to LPS administration. These observations suggest that the anti-inflammatory effect of vitamin B6 is mediated by suppression of NF-kappaB activation.