Glutamate receptor activation of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase signalling cascades has been implicated in diverse neuronal functions such as synaptic plasticity, development and excitotoxicity. We have previously shown that Ca2+-influx through NMDA receptors in cultured striatal neurones mediates the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) and Akt/protein kinase B (PKB) through a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase)-dependent pathway. Exposing neurones to the Src family tyrosine kinase inhibitor PP2, but not the inactive analogue PP3, inhibited NMDA receptor-induced phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and Akt/PKB in a concentration-dependent manner, and reduced cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation. To establish a link between Src family tyrosine kinase-mediated phosphorylation and PI 3-kinase signalling, affinity precipitation experiments were performed with the SH2 domains of the PI 3-kinase regulatory subunit p85. This revealed a Src-dependent phosphorylation of a focal adhesion kinase (FAK)-p85 complex on glutamate stimulation. Demonstrating that PI3-kinase is not ubiquitously involved in NMDA receptor signal transduction, the PI 3-kinase inhibitors wortmannin and LY294002 did not prevent NMDA receptor Ca2+-dependent phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase 1/2 (JNK1/2). Further, inhibiting Src family kinases increased NMDA receptor-dependent JNK1/2 phosphorylation, suggesting that Src family kinase-dependent cascades may physiologically limit signalling to JNK. These results demonstrate that Src family tyrosine kinases and PI3-kinase are pivotal regulators of NMDA receptor signalling to ERK/Akt and JNK in striatal neurones.