Rat eosinophil survival was prolonged by recombinant rat IL-5 prepared by the baculovirus expression system. The IL-5-induced prolongation of eosinophil survival was dose-dependently inhibited by the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide, the DNA-dependent RNA synthesis inhibitor actinomycin D, and the tyrosine kinase inhibitor herbimycin A. The MEK-1 inhibitor PD98059 inhibited IL-5-induced phosphorylation of both p44 and p42 MAP kinases, but the IL-5-induced prolongation of eosinophil survival was not inhibited. In contrast, the JAK2 inhibitor AG490 inhibited the IL-5-induced prolongation of eosinophil survival. Treatment of eosinophils with IL-5 resulted in phosphorylation of STAT5 but not STAT1, and the IL-5-induced phosphorylation of STAT5 was inhibited by AG490. These findings suggest that recombinant rat IL-5 activates JAK2 tyrosine kinase, which phosphorylates STAT5, and induces protein synthesis required for the prolongation of rat eosinophil survival.