Activation of proinflammatory macrophages is associated with the inflammatory state of rheumatoid arthritis. Their polarization and activation are controlled by transcription factors such as NF-κB and the AP-1 transcription factor member c-Fos. Surprisingly, little is known about the role of the AP-1 transcription factor c-Jun in macrophage activation. In this study, we show that mRNA and protein levels of c-Jun are increased in macrophages following pro-or anti-inflammatory stimulations. Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway enrichment cluster analyses of microarray data using wild-Type and c-Jun-deleted macrophages highlight the central function of c-Jun in macrophages, in particular for immune responses, IL production, and hypoxia pathways. Mice deficient for c-Jun in macrophages show an amelioration of inflammation and bone destruction in the serum-induced arthritis model. In vivo and in vitro gene profiling, together with chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis of macrophages, revealed direct activation of the proinflammatory factor cyclooxygenase-2 and indirect inhibition of the antiinflammatory factor arginase-1 by c-Jun. Thus, c-Jun regulates the activation state of macrophages and promotes arthritis via differentially regulating cyclooxygenase-2 and arginase-1 levels. Copyright © 2017 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.