Most in vivo studies demonstrating decreased activities of hepatic cytochromes P450 with inflammation have used Gram-negative bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) as the inflammatory stimulant. But products of Gram-positive bacteria, such as staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB), also stimulate inflammatory mediators, albeit with a different pattern than LPS. Therefore, effects of SEB on the regulation of murine constitutive P450s were determined in this study and compared with those of LPS. LPS-responsive C3H/HeN and LPS-unresponsive C3H/HeJ mice were injected with either LPS (0.5 mg/kg) or SEB (0.66 to 6.6 mg/kg), and hepatic cytochromes P450 and serum tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-6, nitrate/nitrite, and serum amyloid A concentrations were determined up to 24 hr. HeJ mice were generally less responsive than HeN mice to both stimuli, with lower cytokine, nitrate/nitrite, and serum amyloid A responses. However, in both mouse strains SEB caused more prolonged cytokine, higher nitrate/nitrite, and lower serum amyloid A concentrations than LPS. Despite these differences, in HeN mice, after both SEB and LPS administration, total P450 concentrations were equally depressed by 40%. Both SEB and LPS depressed CYP1A1 and 1A2 microsomal protein concentrations by 45 and 30%, respectively; CYP2E1 by 64%; and CYP3A by 70%. There was comparable inhibition of enzymatic activities. In HeJ mice, SEB was only slightly more effective in depressing P450s than LPS, as might be expected. These data showed that the Gram-positive bacterial inflammatory stimulant SEB caused effects on murine hepatic cytochromes P450 similar to those of LPS, even though the pattern of inflammatory mediators induced after SEB exposure was different.