BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES Several pharmacological properties of red rice extract have been reported including anti-oxidant, anti-tumor, and reduced cancer cell invasion. This study was conducted to evaluate the anti-inflammatory effects of red rice extract on the production of inflammatory mediators in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced Raw 264.7 macrophages. MATERIALS/METHODS Pro-inflammatory cytokines including tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6 were determined by ELISA and cyclooxygenase-2 and inducible nitric oxide synthase expression was evaluated using western blot analysis. In addition, the signaling pathway controlling the inflammatory cascade such as nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), activator proteins-1 (AP-1), and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) was determined. RESULTS Our results showed that red rice polar extract fraction (RR-P), but not non-polar extract fraction, inhibited interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, and nitric oxide production in LPS-induced Raw 264.7 cells. RR-P also reduced the expression of inflammatory enzymes, inducible nitric oxide synthase, and cyclooxygenase-2. In addition, activation of AP-1 and NF-κB transcription factor in the nucleus was abrogated by RR-P. RR-P inhibited the phosphorylation of extracellular signaling-regulated kinase 1/2, c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase, and p38 MAPK signaling responsible for the expression of inflammatory mediators in LPS-stimulated Raw 264.7 cells. Based on chemical analysis, high amounts of proanthocyanidin and catechins were detected in the RR-P fraction. However, only proanthocyanidin reduced NF-κB and AP-1 activation in LPS-activated Raw 264.7 cells. CONCLUSION These observations suggest that the anti-inflammatory properties of RR-P may stem from the inhibition of pro-inflammatory mediators via suppression of the AP-1, NF-κB, and MAPKs pathways.