Macrophages have critical roles in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis by activating the innate immune system and producing inflammatory cytokines. Accumulating evidence indicates that angiotensin type 1 receptor (AT1R) blockers exert anti-inflammatory effects in inflammatory diseases including atherosclerosis. In this study, we investigated the effect of losartan, an AT1R blocker, on the proinflammatory gene expression induced by bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in a well-defined in vitro human THP-1 macrophage system. We found that losartan significantly attenuated the LPS-induced expression of proinflammatory genes TNF-alpha, IL-8 and COX-2. However, exogenous angiotensin II (AngII) had no effect on LPS-induced inflammatory signaling despite the expression of AT1R. In addition, losartan did not block LPS-induced IkappaB phosphorylation, which is downstream of Toll-like receptor activation. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARgamma) antagonists, GW9662 and T0070907, reversed the inhibitory effects of losartan on LPS-induced TNF-alpha and IL-8 expression in THP-1 macrophages. These observations suggest that losartan inhibits LPS-induced proinflammatory gene expression in macrophages by activating the PPARgamma pathway rather than by the competitive inhibition of AT1R binding to AngII.