Although studies have shown 17β-estradiol (E2) administration following trauma-hemorrhage (T-H) attenuates alterations in T cell cytokine production, it remains unknown whether such effects of E2 are mediated via genomic or non-genomic pathways. In this study, we determined the non-genomic effects of E2 on splenic T cell cytokine production and the role of MAPK following T-H. Male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent T-H (mean BP 40 mm Hg for 90 min, then resuscitation). E2, E2 conjugated with BSA (E2-BSA, 1 mg/kg E2) with or without an estrogen receptor antagonist (ICI 182 780), or vehicle was administered during resuscitation. Two hours thereafter, T cell production of IL-2 and IFN-γ and activation of MAPK (p38, ERK-1/2 and JNK) were determined. The effect of selective MAPK inhibitors on cytokine production was also examined in vitro. IL-2 and IFN-γ production capacity and MAPK activation decreased in T cells following T-H. However, E2 administration normalized these parameters. Although E2-BSA administration also attenuated suppression in cytokine production, the values were lower compared to sham. In contrast, E2-BSA prevented T-H-induced suppression in MAPK activation to the same extent as E2. Co-administration of ICI 182 780 abolished E2-BSA effects. These findings suggest E2 effects on T cell cytokine production following T-H are mediated at least in part via non-genomic pathway and these non-genomic effects are likely mediated via MAPK pathways. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.