Krüppel-like transcription factors (Klfs) modulate fundamental cell processes. Cardiac myocytes are terminally-differentiated, but hypertrophy in response to stimuli such as endothelin-1. H2O2 or cytokines promote myocyte apoptosis. Microarray studies of neonatal rat myocytes identified several Klfs as endothelin-1-responsive genes. We used quantitative PCR for further analysis of Klf expression in neonatal rat myocytes. In response to endothelin-1, Klf2 mRNA expression was rapidly increased ( approximately 9-fold; 15-30 min) with later increases in expression of Klf4 and Klf6 ( approximately 5-fold; 30-60 min). All were regulated as immediate early genes (cycloheximide did not inhibit the increases in expression). Klf5 expression was increased at 1-2 h ( approximately 13-fold) as a second phase response (cycloheximide inhibited the increase). These increases were transient and attenuated by U0126. H2O2 increased expression of Klf2, Klf4 and Klf6, but interleukin-1beta or tumor necrosis factor alpha downregulated Klf2 expression with no effect on Klf4 or Klf6. Of the Klfs which repress transcription, endothelin-1 rapidly downregulated expression of Klf3, Klf11 and Klf15. The dynamic regulation of expression of multiple Klf family members in cardiac myocytes suggests that, as a family, they are actively involved in regulating phenotypic responses (hypertrophy and apoptosis) to extracellular stimuli.