Nitric oxide is known to participate in the immune and inflammatory processes. In this study, we investigated the production of nitric oxide (NO) in murine viral myocarditis induced by coxsackievirus B3. The expression of inducible NO synthase (iNOS) mRNA in the heart first appeared on day 4 after virus inoculation and it was detectable for one month by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) methods. iNOS activity which was determined by the conversion of L-[3H]arginine to L-[3H]citrulline was increased on day 4 and revealed its peak on day 8. Immunohistochemistry on day 7 showed increased iNOS staining mainly in infiltrating macrophages and polymorphonuclear leukocytes. Thus, NO is thought to be produced in the heart and play an important role in a murine model of coxsackievirus B3-induced viral myocarditis.