Adiponectin is an adipokine with potent anti-inflammatory properties. We previously reported that a globular adiponectin (gAd) suppresses Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans lipopolysaccharide-induced nuclear factor-kappaB activity, suggesting an anti-inflammatory effect of gAd. In this study, we investigated whether gAd is able to modulate the effect of A. actinomycetemcomitans lipopolysaccharide on cytokine induction in a murine macrophage cell line (RAW 264). The phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, c-Jun N-terminal kinase, extracellular signal-regulated kinase, and IkappaB kinase alpha/beta and the degradation of IkappaB, which were induced by A. actinomycetemcomitans lipopolysaccharide intoxication, were clearly reduced in gAd-pretreated RAW 264 cells compared with the untreated cells. Expression levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and interleukin-10 (IL-10) mRNA were assessed by real-time PCR. Cell-free supernatants were collected after 12 h of stimulation and analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for TNF-alpha and IL-10. Pretreatment with gAd significantly inhibited the A. actinomycetemcomitans lipopolysaccharide-induced TNF-alpha mRNA expression and protein secretion. In contrast, pretreatment with gAd significantly enhanced the A. actinomycetemcomitans lipopolysaccharide-induced IL-10 mRNA expression and protein secretion. These data suggest a mechanism for the anti-inflammatory activity of gAd in local inflammatory lesions, such as periodontitis.