Previous studies reported that kahweol, a coffee-specific diterpene, inhibits cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression in cultured lipopolysaccharide-activated macrophages. The aim of this study was to confirm the anti-inflammatory effects of kahweol by examining its effect on the inflammatory response induced by carrageenan in a rat using an acute air pouch inflammation model. Kahweol significantly reduced the levels of the inflammatory process markers in the air pouch, such as the volume of exudates, the amount of protein and the number of leukocytes and neutrophils. The levels of nitrite, TNF-a and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) were also markedly lower in the air pouch of the kahweol-treated animals than in the controls. Immunoblot analysis showed that kahweol reduced the COX-2 and iNOS expression level in the exudate cells. The histological examination showed that there was a lower inflammatory response in the pouch tissues from the kahweol-treated animals. In addition, kahweol significantly reduced the paw edema induced by carrageenan and also markedly reduced the level of PGE2 production in the inflamed paw. These results suggest that kahweol has significant anti-inflammatory effects in vivo, which might be due to the inhibition of iNOS and COX-2 expression in the inflammatory sites.