The aim of the present study was to determine the age-related kinetic changes of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and downstream genes expression, and secretion of cytokine in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulated porcine alveolar macrophages (AM). For this purpose, AMs were isolated from 5-day-old newborn piglets and 120-day-old young pigs. mRNA expression and cytokine measurement was determined by quantitative real-time PCR and ELISA, respectively. First, AMs were incubated for 24 h in the absence or presence of increasing concentrations of LPS. Results showed the up-regulation of TLRs 2, 4, 5 and 9 mRNA from all concentrations of LPS used, as compared to non-stimulated cells, and TLR4 was the highest expression in both ages (P < 0.05). Furthermore, quantitative analysis demonstrated increased expression of mRNAs encoding TLRs 2, 4, 5 and 9, LBP, CD14, MD2, MyD88, IRAK4 and TRAF6 in both ages in a time-dependant manner (P < 0.05). Overall, LPS inducible mRNA for TLR4, LBP, CD14 and MyD88 had higher expression in newborn piglets compared with those of young pigs (P < 0.05). The level of cytokine protein IL6 and TNF alpha in supernatant fluid significantly varied with time of incubation and age of animals. Their concentration increased immediately at 1 h after LPS stimulation and remained significantly higher up to 48 h in both ages. Production of pro-inflammatory cytokine protein IL6 and TNFa in supernatant was significantly higher in young pigs than those of piglets. This study suggests that differential age-related changes in the expression of TLRs and downstream genes, and pro-inflammatory cytokine could contribute to a different age-related innate immune response during pulmonary infection. Further investigation is warranted to determine the precise effects of LPS on porcine AMs by means of a functional study across a wider age range. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.