In the search for safer and effective anti-inflammatory agents, we investigated the effect of methyl indoline-3-propionate and indoline-3-(3-aminopropyl) carbamates on LPS-induced lung injury and pro-inflammatory cytokines in mice. Their mechanism of action was determined in murine peritoneal macrophages. Lung injury was induced by intratracheal infusion of LPS and assessed by the change in lung weight and structure by light microscopy after staining by haematoxylin and eosin. In LPS-activated macrophages, MAPK proteins and IκBα were measured by Western blotting and the transcription factors, AP-1 and NF-κB by electromobility shift assay. Cytokines in the plasma and spleen of mice injected with LPS were measured by elisa-based assay. AN917 and AN680 (1-10 pM) decreased TNF-α protein in macrophages by inhibiting phosphorylation of p38 MAPK, IκBα degradation and activation of AP-1 and NF-κB without affecting cell viability. In vivo, these compounds (10 μmol · kg(-1)) markedly decreased lung injury induced by LPS and the elevation of TNF-α and IL-6 in lung, plasma and spleen. Activation of α-7nACh receptors contributed to the reduction of TNF-α by AN917, which inhibited AChE in the spleen by 35%. Indoline carbamates are potent inhibitors of pro-inflammatory mediators in murine macrophages and in mice injected with LPS, acting via the p38 MAPK, AP-1 and NF-κB cascades. Indirect α-7nACh receptor activation by AN917, through inhibition of AChE, contributes to its anti-inflammatory effect. Indoline carbamates may have therapeutic potential for lung injury and other diseases associated with chronic inflammation without causing immunosuppression.