Recent evidence suggests that CD38, an ectoenzyme that converts NAD + to cyclic ADP-ribose (cADPr), may play a role in cytokine-induced airway smooth muscle (ASM) cell hyper-responsiveness, a key feature associated with chronic asthma. In the present study, we investigated the major signaling pathways by which tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) induces CD38 expression and its role in regulating gene expression in human ASM cells. Using flow cytometry analyses, TNFα enhanced CD38 expression in a manner that was time-(0-24 h), concentration-(0.1-40 ng/ml), and protein synthesis-(cycloheximide blockade) dependent. A selective agonistic antibody against tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) 1 also augmented CD38 expression, whereas anti-TNFR2 antagonistic antibody did not prevent the TNFα response. Inhibition of the Janus activated kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription pathways using the soluble inhibitor 2-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-9-fluoro-3,6-dihydro-7H-benz-[h]imidaz[4,5-f] isoquinolin-7-one (DBI) or with neutralizing antibody against interferon β (IFNβ) completely abrogated TNFα-induced CD38 expression at both protein and mRNA levels. Combining TNFα (0.1 and 1 ng/ml) and IFNβ (100 IU/ml) at concentrations alone that had little effect on CD38 expression induced a robust synergistic induction of CD38 mRNA and protein levels. 8-Bromo-cADPr, a cADPr antagonist, significantly augmented TNFα-induced interleukin-6 secretion, whereas regulated on activation normal T cell expressed and secreted secretion was suppressed. 8-Bromo-cADPr, however, did not affect TNFα-induced cell surface expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1. Our study is the first to demonstrate that IFNβ-dependent activation of CD38 pathway is a novel component by which TNFα differentially regulates the expression of inflammatory genes in ASM cells.