Amorphous silica nanoparticles (SiNPs) have previously been shown to induce marked cytokine (interleukin-6; IL-6 and interleukin-8; CXCL8/IL-8) responses independently of particle uptake in human bronchial epithelial BEAS-2B cells. In this study the involvement of the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAP-kinases), nuclear factor-kappa Β (NF-κΒ) and in particular tumour necrosis factor-α converting enzyme (TACE) and-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signalling pathways were examined in triggering of IL-6 and CXCL8 release after exposure to a 50nm silica nanoparticle (Si50). Exposure to Si50 increased phosphorylation of NF-κΒ p65 and MAP-kinases p38 and JUN-N-terminal protein kinase pathways (JNK), but not extracellular signal regulated kinases (ERK). Inhibition of NF-κΒ and p38 reduced the cytokine responses to Si50, whereas neither JNK- nor ERK-inhibition exerted any significant effect on the responses to Si50. Increases in membrane-bound transforming growth factor-α (TGF-α) release and EGFR phosphorylation were also observed after Si50 exposure, and pre-treatment with inhibitors of these pathways reduced the release of IL-6 and CXCL8, but did not affect the Si50-induced phosphorylation of p38 and p65. In contrast, p38-inhibition partially reduced Si50-induced TGF-α release, while the p65-inhibition was without effect. Overall, our results indicate that Si50-induced IL-6 and CXCL8 responses in BEAS-2B cells were regulated through combined activation of several pathways, including NF-κΒ and p38/TACE/TGF-α/EGFR signalling. The study identifies critical, initial events in the triggering of pro-inflammatory responses by nanoparticles.