Tissue injury triggers inflammatory responses that may result in release of degradation products or exposure of cryptic domains of extracellular matrix components. Previously, we have shown that a cryptic peptide (AQARSAASKVKVSMKF) in the α-chain of laminin-10 (α5β1γ1), a prominent basement membrane component, is chemotactic for both neutrophils (PMNs) and macrophages (Mφs) and induces matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) production. To determine whether AQARSAASKVKVSMKF has additional effects on inflammatory cells, we performed microarray analysis of RNA from RAW264.7 Mφs stimulated with AQAR SAASKVKVSMKF. Several cytokiees and cytokine receptors were increased >3-fold in response to the laminin α5 peptide. Among these were TNF-α and one of its receptors, the p75 TNFR (TNFR-II), increasing 3.5- and 5.7-fold, respectively. However, the peptide had no effect on p55 TNFR (TNFR-I) expression. Corroborating the microarray data, the protein levels of TNF-α and TNFR-II were increased following stimulation of RAW264.7 cells with AQARSAASKVKVSMKF. In addition, we determined that the production of TNF-α and TNFR-II in response to AQARSAASKVKVSMKF preceded the production of MMP-9. Furthermore, using primary Mφs from mice deficient in TNFR-I, TNFR-II, or both TNF-α receptors (TNFRs), we determined that AQARSAASKVKVSMKF induces MMP-9 expression by Mφs through a pathway triggered by TNFR-II. However, TNF-α signaling is not required for AQARSAASKVKVSMKF-induced PMN release of MMP-9 or PMN emigration. These data suggest that interactions of inflammatory cells with basement membrane components may orchestrate immune responses by inducing expression of cytokines, recruitment of inflammatory cells, and release of proteinases.