Septic shock induced by gram-negative bacteria results primarily from excessive stimulation by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of macrophages to produce tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-1. The cellular effects of LPS, TNF-α, and IL-1 are mediated via tyrosine phosphorylation pathways. A recent report indicated that selective inhibitors of tyrosine kinases, tyrphostins of the AG126 family, protect mice against LPS-induced lethal toxicity in mice. Protection was most effective when the tyrphostin was injected before the LPS. In the present study, tyrphostin AG556, which is more lipophilic than those of the AG126 family, was effective in preventing LPS-induced lethal toxicity when administered 2 h after LPS. AG556 also prevented viable Escherichia coli-induced lethal toxicity when given 2 h before and, to a lesser extent, 2 h after the bacterial inoculation. AG556 may block a critical step downstream of the signaling pathway induced by LPS after TNF-α production.